Intro to Lit: Creative Writing

ENG 273, Section 601, CRN 96085

Summer Session: 1

Dates of Session: 05/26-07/02

Fully online via Laulima

 

Introduction to Literature:

Creative Writing and Literature:

WRITING FANTASY FICTION

(A zero textbook cost class section)

 

Instructor: Dr. Ida Yoshinaga, lecturer in English, UHM

COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course is for writers of fantasy, whether they enjoy epic (quest), urban, dark, fabulist, magical realist, superheroic, experimental, or other forms of this genre which even the best international scholars have found challenging to define.  Is fantasy simply a made-up story (or narrative mode) that defies the rules of our physical world; does it exercise the imagination, so as to allow us to “play” in our minds and refresh our spirits; or does fantasy serve a societal function, getting us to risk thinking outside of convention in ways that subvert the political status quo? Let’s attempt to answer these questions, as we practice fantastic storytelling!

 

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

Upon successful completion of this class you should be able to

  • Define fantasy fiction and the literatures of the fantastic in terms of their genre conventions, artistic storytelling traditions, and audience expectations
  • Analyze short fantastic, fantasy, and fabulist stories from the creative-writing dimensions of premise, plot structure, characters and their arcs, language, and setting/world-building
  • Write 2 short fiction stories, each following one or more fantastic literary genre convention
  • In the process of writing these stories, demonstrate an ability to identify the ethical issues that arise in connection with creating, developing, and consuming fantastic texts
  • Employ text-editing and online commenting tools effectively
  • Undertake disciplined revision of your stories in response to constructive critique
  • Articulate constructive, concrete, and critical responses to peers’ fantastic stories
  • Demonstrate a familiarity with conventional genres of fantasy

COURSE FORMAT & REQUIRED TEXTS

  • This is a fully online course, with materials and exercises regularly presented online in the Laulima course website. It requires daily check-ins into the website and into your UH email accounts. 2-3 times a week, you will in the course website post messages to the site’s Discussion Boards (brief informal essays following specific writing prompts) as well as peer criticism in response to classmates’ Discussion Board or DB posts. At least once every week and a half, you will also post a formal homework submission (a full story draft) to either the DB (Rough Draft) or the Assignments section (Final Draft).
  • READING/VIEWING MATERIALS
    • This class is a zero textbook cost section.
    • Internet connectivity to access Laulima course website where the Resources folder will contain sample writings, articles, URLs, and other files. All written homework will be submitted to this site.
    • You should have access to Microsoft Word to submit the formal drafts of major homework requirements.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADE BREAKDOWN

  • You must finish all these requirements to pass the course
  • 60% of your grade in total:  Two short fantasy, fantastic, or fabulist fiction stories in two drafts each, with each Final Draft substantially improved over the Rough Draft.  Each draft will be at least 6-8 double-spaced pages long, or 1,500-2,000 words per draft, and together with its related Laulima informal writing exercises, will constitute up to 15% of your total grade.
      • Paper 1: One short fiction story following the genre conventions and storytelling traditions of one fantasy, fantastic, or fabulist subgenre [15% Rough, 15% Final: each Draft should be substantially different from the previous one, demonstrating serious revision efforts in response to peer and instructor feedback]
      • Paper 2: One short fiction story following the genre conventions and storytelling traditions of a different fantasy, fantastic, or fabulist subgenre than Paper 1 [15% Rough, 15% Final: each Draft should be substantially different from the previous one, demonstrating serious revision efforts in response to peer and instructor feedback]
    • Participation in group exercises and class discussion via Laulima Discussion Board posts, including responses to peer postings (20% spread over 6 weeks, or a little over a 3 percentage points per week). [The majority of these online activities help you prepare either for the two major papers’ Rough Draft and Final Draft revisions.]
    • 2 brief self-reflection essays reflecting on your approach to the story, subgenre conventions you followed or subverted, and storytelling traditions you practiced in your chosen subgenre for writing Paper 1 and Paper 2, which will each make up the last 10% of your grade (20% together). 1.5 double-spaced pages or 375 words per essay (3 double-spaced pages total).

Questions? Email the instructor at ida@hawaii.edu.