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How a Story Works: The Art of Fiction

ENGL 512.640
W 5:30-8:10pm

This course will introduce you to the fundamentals of writing fiction. Over the semester, we will explore the formal underpinnings of narrative art, emphasizing craft techniques such as how characters work, the way in which a story develops, and the lyrical use of language. Together we will write, discuss, dissect, experiment, create, and read works by authors such as James Baldwin, Alexander Chee, Yiyun Li, Lesley Nnecka Arimah, Edna O'Brien, Karen Russell, George Saunders, Kirsten Valdez Quade, and others. Class discussions and workshops will focus on reading the work of these writers from a writer’s perspective. We will learn from each other what we, both as writers and readers, respond to, and encourage one another to write as freely as possible. This course is appropriate both for students with previous creative writing experience and for students trying fiction writing for the first time.