English | Writing Fiction 2
W612 | 7449 | Miller, AL
W612 7449 AL MILLER
Writing Fiction 2
2:30p – 5:30 p R
AUTHORIZATION OF INSTRUCTOR REQUIRED.
Prerequisite: Enrollment is generally restricted to graduate fiction
students enrolled in our MFA program.
You will be encouraged to take chances, and try writing fiction
you’ve always wanted to, but maybe never have. If you find yourself
typically more comfortable writing in third person, maybe this is
the semester to try first person (we will talk a lot about point of
view). If your fiction usually winds up at a certain page length,
you may want to experiment with “length” and “space,” going either
shorter or longer to play with expansion and compression. If you
want to try “experimental fiction” (however you define that), go
right ahead. We will also focus on revision, and what it means
to “see again.”
Expect to draft and revise around 60 pages. Reasonably self-
contained novel chapters that don’t require “epic setup” are welcome.
We will read the equivalent of two or three story collections, and
maybe a novel.
Course Philosophy: Craft is inextricably connected to worldview,
which is directly connected to point of view, and we will consider
not only how stories are made through a writer’s choices, but “how
and what” stories “mean.”
Some pre-course highly suggested reading includes all/some/a little
of the following medley of “old chestnuts” and at least enough
familiarity that you can hum part of the melody:
The Rhetoric of Fiction Wayne Booth; Aspects of the Novel, E. M.
Forster; The Art of Fiction, John Gardner; Critical Practice,
Catherine Belsey; Ways of Seeing, John Berger; The Poetics of Prose,
Todorov; The Reader’s Guide to Literary Theory, Raman Selden; Story
and Discourse, Chatman; Six Memos for the Next Millenium, Calvino;
The Art of the Novel, Kundera; Playing in the Dark, Toni Morrison;
Six Walks in the Fictional Woods, Eco; stories in Norton Anthology
of Short Fiction(long editions); The Dialogic Imagination, Bakhtin;
Being and Race, Charles Johnson; Mythologies or Image, Music, Text,
Barthes; anything by Foucault, but you should definitely know
his “What Is An Author” essay; Feminisms, edited by Robyn Warhol;
Culture Outlaw, bell hooks; The Dubliners, James Joyce; etc.
Please note: We will have a full class session the first day. You
will receive by email the first assignment by the end of the fall
semester. If some reason you have not received this information by
January 1, 2006, please contact me right away at