Engl 6710 Fiction Workshop
Fall 2011 Dr Ramirez
As this is a workshop class, I'll be assigning reading and writing for each class. I'll regularly ask to see what you've written, so always bring your homework, word processed if possible. ** In addition, I ask that you annotate, meaning you underline Burroway's key ideas, and interact with the text of all stories you read. Also mark and annotate story mss. from your classmates.
wk 1 : 1st hour: syllabus, course plan, intros, fave
genres/books (see Burroway's Appendix, pp 397-400);
2nd hour: Burroway Ch 1, "The Writing Process": writers groups, writing journals
3rd hour: begin reading The Writing Class by Willett
H: review Burroway Ch 1, and respond to any of her urgings or ideas in a writer's notebook you keep; do exercises pp 19-20: 2 and 3, in addition to starting a writing journal--if you're not already doing so--as described on p 19; Rd Burroway Ch 2: "Seeing is Believing" pp 21-42; write down any ideas that you find surprising and/or helpful. Begin reading Willett's The Writing Class pp 1-72; wrtng ex: write one page of one narrator's or character's voice, and a page of a contrasting voice (think of Willett's xters and their distinctive speech markers)
wk 2 : 1st hour: Review Ch 2 in Burroway,
"Seeing is Believing": what are the main points? What did you learn that can
help your writing? Share ex 2 & 3; collect;
2nd hour: Begin Willett's The Writing Class. Scenes? Chapters? Thickening plot? BREAK
3rd hour: Share your two pages of xter voice. Discuss strategies for making xters sound distinct
Homework: Rd & annotate Burroway Ch 3, "Building Character," pp 73-89; writing ex pp114-5 #1,2,4 (one page each); . Rd TWC pp 73-174. Questions __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
wk 3: 1st hour:
Burroway Ch 3: direct xterization
2nd hour: writing exercises
3rd hour: TWC : structure, xter development, dialogue & summary in scenes
Homework: 1 Rd & annotate Burroway Ch 4, "The Flesh Made Word";
2 writing ex pp 161-2, #1, 4 (one page each);
3 TWC pp
–chart further escalation of plot /Sniper and Amy’s fears
–can you find a structural or plot rationale for Dot’s play within a play?
–further background that explains why Amy is the way she is?
wk 3 Th 9/9: 1st hour:
wk 4 Th 9/16: 1st hour: Burroway
2nd hour: TWC
3rd hour: writing assignments
wk 5 Th 9/23: 1st hour: Burroway on place
2nd hour: Burroway on plot
3rd hour: stories
wk 6 Th 9/30: 1st hour: Burroway on time; finish Burroway on plot
2nd hour: discussion of pacing, summary and scene, time elements
3rd hour: writing assignments
H: Burroway on POV; writing assignments; read "All Reply"; submit response paper 1 next week
wk 7 Th 10/7: 1st hour: share response papers & collect; Burroway on pov
2nd hour: "Everything that Rises"; "All Reply"
3rd hour: Writing assignment
H: Rd & annotate Ch 9: revision in Burroway; Wrtg ex: p 394 #1 (cut an existing story by 25%; then, read it aloud and be ready to talk about how the cutting affects the story); # 3: write 3 different endings to a story you've written; 3: as Chekhov suggests, take a story, cut it in half, and start there. What do you come up with? Two folks submit an e file to me to put up on website for all to read for next week?
wk 8 Th 10/14: 1st hour: discuss Burroway and revision;
2nd hour: discuss "No Reply"; also, how to account for the title of O'Connor's story?
3rd hour: go over wrtg assignment
Homework: 1 Rd and annotate handouts. O'Connor's "Writing Short Stories"; "Nyberg's "Why Stories Fail"; Sterne's "Don't Do This"; Students as discussion leaders on the readings 2 Wrtg exercise: Write a scene in which the pov switches from xter to xter, breaking the rule of pov consistency. What do you gain by shifting? Do you lose anything? OR, write a personal ad for a xter you don't know very well--maybe a secondary xter. Divide the paper down the middle and on side write the descriptive phrases the xter considers writing, and on the other, her/his inner monologue about the phrase--what it hides, exaggerates, omits, for the phrase to be reasonably true. 3. read Michael's story and complete feedback form
wk 9 Th 10/21: 1st hour:
H: Rd and annotate Rachel's story. Rd and annotate David 's story. Fill out the feedback form. . . .
wk 10 Th 10/28: 1st hour: hand back papers–writing–from last week; Go
over Kerchival on revision
--focus on checklist: we’ll refer back to this when discussing the two pieces for today, but can also bring Michael’s into the mix even though we read his last week
-- David’s story
1 read two stories: pls send me the efiles asap. If you do so by early tomorrow (Jacqueline and Mary), I can get up before the weekend. Pls affix author’s notes as per Rachel’s if necessary, and indicate if it’s a story or chapter
2 Read Kaplan’s article "Revising Your Prose for Power & Punch"
3 Read "Big Me" by Dan Chaon
–inner & outer conflict
–what type of narrator do we have?
–the beginning and the end
Rd and fill out feedback form
for Mary's and
wk 11 Th 11/4: 1st hour: Discuss "Big Me"
2nd hour: Jacqueline's story "Never Look Back"
3rd hour: Mary's story, "The Art of Deception"
H:Read 1 "Following the Notes" in Burroway p 112; consider various meaning s for title; list inferences you can make about daughter (narrator), father, and mother. Also, what is girl's relationship to boyfriend/father/men 2 Rd David's story 2 and Michael's story
wk 12 Th 11/10: 1st hour: discuss query letters;
go over revision guidelines
2nd hour: discuss "Following the Notes"
3rd hour: discuss Michael's, David's chapters
H: Read last two stories; Rd in Burroway, "Tandolfo the Great" pp151; write the query letter for either a story or chapter; read mss and fill out feedback form; write response #2: 2-3 pages double spaced. Focus on a story we've read and discuss it from a writer's pov. What strategies do you detect? How does form and content mesh? Consider a reading of a scene, or go broader, discussing story arc, characterization, etc.
wk 13 Th 11/17: 1st hour: submit query letters; discuss "Tandolfo the
3rd hour: Jacqueline's story
H: complete revision story 2 and submit; start reading book for Novel/short story report to class
wk 14:NO CLASS: THANKSGIVING Work on novel presentation
WK 15: Th 12/1: short response (2-3 pages) on a short story of choice from class due; novel presentations; workshop Rachel's story #2; Mary's story
FINALS WEEK: 21/8, 6 PM, Stewart Library Special Collections; class reading of original work