English | Writing Fiction 2
W612 | 5171 | Wilkinson

2:30p – 5:30p T


The least thing has bit of the unknown about it.  Let us find this.—
Gustav Flaubert

The essence of Flaubert’s teaching is that the writer must look at
everything to find some aspect of it that no one has yet seen or
expressed.  This is the duty of the fiction writer as an artist.
This is a workshop in re-focusing our eyes to see—to see our own
work in new ways, to see the lessons and the beauty in the work of
our fellow writers.  We will mine our minds and hearts and flex our
fiction muscles toward making new discoveries, unearthing hidden
truths, and searching for the unknown that Flaubert spoke of.  We
will take a new story from the outpouring stage to the crafting
stage and will bring three stories in-progress to the table for
discussion (approximately 60-65 pages, which may include deep
revisions of previously written work).  Students should come to this
writing community prepared to roll up their sleeves and work.  In
addition to attending to our creative habits, we will also write
seven short (2-3 pages) critical essays at the center of which will
be the question:  “How did reading this contribute to my education
as a writer?”  In addition, you will also be asked to keep a weekly
weather/observation journal.  You will be required to read closely
and respond to other fiction submitted to the workshop.  Copies of
each manuscript will be returned to the writer fully critiqued by
the other students and the instructor.

Recommended reading prior to the semester:  R.V. Cassill’s _Writing
Fiction_ (it’s out of print but readily available at used bookstores
and online)

Required course texts:  _Where the Long Grass Bends_ by Neela
Vaswani; _White Rat_ by Gayl Jones; _Poachers_ by Tom Franklin;
_Secrets of a Fire King_ by Kim Edwards; and one collection of short
stories of your own choosing.

All fiction writers enrolled in the graduate creative writing
program are automatically admitted to the workshop.  Once these
students have been placed, any remaining openings may be given to
qualified applicants from outside the program.  Interested students
should contact the instructor by leaving her a note in the English
department mailroom (BH 442) or through e-mail (crwilkin@indiana.edu)