/ Graduate Catalogue / Writing / 2012-2013

Fiction Writing Workshop

This is a course from a previous year. View the current courses

The job of a writer is to make the reader want to turn the page. This can be accomplished by various means; but, ultimately, what will draw the reader in and keep him there is the story. While this course will address itself to all aspects of fiction writing, including voice and character development, its focus will be on the art of storytelling. What is a story and how does it get made? How do we move from one event to another, and what kind of causality does that movement entail? As Flannery O’Connor once said, the end of a story must both surprise and feel inevitable. We will look at short novels and stories that accomplish this task. Most readings, however, will be individually assigned to meet the needs of each student in conference. In workshop, we will mainly look at the work that the students bring to the class and think about how well a story is being told. Is there any element of the story about which the writer might make better use? And is there anything that stands in the way of the story being told?