Nonfiction Workshop: Rational and Irrational Narrative
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 larger pieces, approximately 3,000 words each, which will be discussed by the whole class. The discussion will be lively and pertinent.