Form and Feeling in Nonfiction Prose
While the larger focus of this class will be on the art of storytelling, the minute-by-minute concern will center on the instinctive choices and movements of a piece of writing as it unfolds and develops. We will be very specific and concrete and conceive of ourselves as the mechanics and engineers of our souls. We will spend a lot of time exploring rhetoric as the art of persuasion and concentrate on tone, diction, rhythm, pacing, and transitions in effective prose. We will figure out how a writer generates, sustains, and controls energy on the page and think a lot about how to make space for the uncanny and the imaginative within nonfiction writing. Reading will comprise a series of essays and at least one book. Writing will comprise five-to-seven exercises of no more than 500 words and two-to-three larger pieces, approximately 3,000 words each, which will be discussed by the whole class. The discussion will be lively and pertinent.