English | Creative Writing
W203 | 5612 | Michael Manis

Michael Manis

5612 - 1:30p-2:20p D (18 students) 3 cr.

Prerequisite:  English major or W103 or permission of the director
of the Creative Writing Program.

W203 is a class in writing and reading fiction with strong emphasis
on the writing itself, meaning that we will eschew more English-
classy meta-discussions (Where is the climax? What symbol means
what? Who is voiceless?) in favor of the surface, where I believe
art holds its power; with fiction, that surface is, inevitably, the
writing itself.

Our focus will therefore stay as close as possible to the writing—
our critiques of each other’s fiction will focus on the writing
(pursuant to the story, which is among a shortlist of English-classy
abstractions we will engage with) and our reading of other fiction
will focus, likewise, on the writing.

While all fiction writing can be considered equally “true” (in the
sense that all fiction is a lie—so depending on how you frame it,
all fiction could also be an equal “lie”), the quality of the
writing (writing that is very clear and highly meaningful) can
designate the best or better truths or lies. You can think of this
as a class in writing your truths and your lies better. The most
potent truths, those that arise from the dramatization of
experience, we call “literary,” which means, for our
purposes, “character based” fiction.

Students will complete two short stories, thoughtful critiques of
peer-work, misilaneous in-class writing assignments, and will be
required to read many pieces of short fiction and a couple novels.
All in all, the class should be great fun and a good way to get in
some summer reading!