Students will write fiction pieces to be read and discussed in class. Depending on student interest and experience, classes may include instruction in basic techniques of characterization, dialogue, creating a sense of place, structure, and narrative momentum. Ideally, these subjects come up each time we look closely at a piece of writing, both by students and esteemed forerunners.
I will create a reader for this class that will include short stories by some of the great fiction writers of the past, including D.H. Lawrence, Eudora Welty, Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy, Flannery O’Connor, Heinrich Kleist, Nikolai Gogol, and Ernest Hemingway.
We will also read stories by contemporary writers such as Junot Diaz, Lorrie Moore, Jamaica Kincaid, George Saunders, and others.
Students will be asked to experiment with different kinds of writing, narrative stances, and themes.
Short in-class writing assignments based on prompts will help students find their subjects and begin new work.
I imagine most students will be writing four complete short stories as well as shorter assignments. If students wish to write longer fiction, there can be flexibility, but we’ll need to discuss it at the beginning of the quarter. At least one short story should go through a thorough revision.