English | The Craft of Fiction
W381 | 2007 | Alyce Miller

The Craft of Fiction

11:15a-12:30p TR (30) 3 CR.

PREREQUISITE:  W203, W301 or equivalent.

This course is not a creative writing workshop, though there will be
plenty of weekly, focused creative exercises to get you exploring
various elements and techniques in writing, including point of view,
setting, character development, conflict, scene and narrative
summary, narrative structure, voice, narrative distance, etc.  This
will not be a literature class, though expect to do a lot of close
reading and critical analysis of contemporary literature.  Neither
will this be a theory course, though we will examine and discuss
specifically the many technical and ideological choices writers make,
as well as the effects of those choices.  In other words, this course
is designed to help you develop technically as a writer by studying
the ways in which other writers have put their fiction together.  We
will read a wide range of contemporary writing, some of it “hot off
the press” (the equivalent of a novel or book of stories a week).
Class attendance and participation will be critical, and in addition
to regular creative exercises and the final portfolio, there will
probably be two or three short papers, a presentation, and the two

Important note: There will be an assignment due and a full class
period on the first day. I will e-mail the reading list and first
assignment to all registered student about two weeks before the
spring semester begins.