focuses on the reading and writing of narrative fiction, with a special emphasis
on nontraditional or non-“literary” forms. Students are welcome who wish to
explore genre fiction—science fiction and fantasy, steampunk, westerns,
thrillers and so forth—as are students wishing to experiment with different
forms such as epic narrative poetry, graphic novels, memoirs or screenplays.
Whatever the format or genre, the purpose here is to tell a story: a series of events which leaves a
recognizable effect on a character, and
which is designed to evoke an emotional response from the reader. Thus,
some forms of writing such as prose-poems would not be acceptable in the class.
students will read roughly 30 pages of published work, as well as several
essays regarding the craft of fiction writing (15-20 pages). Three student
stories (roughly 25 pages total) will be discussed each class as well. Students
are required to write three stories for class discussion, each a minimum of 8
pages, but with longer pieces encouraged. Students will take turns leading
class discussions of both the student stories and the published work. Course
grade will reflect the student’s preparation for these discussions, as well as
overall contributions to the weekly conversation.
David Lodge, The Art of Fiction
ed., The Best American Nonrequired