Fiction Writing: Memory, Imagination, Desire
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Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: School of Writing
Department: Writing Program
Course Number: NWRW 3308
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus, Online
Permission Required: No
Fiction, though we write it to share with the world, comes from a place within us that is a private, interior alembic in which memory and imagination, heated by desire, mix. This course helps students discover this special place and the voices that arise from it and learn how to draw these voices into a well-written story. We ponder the essential mystery of putting words on paper--how to discover material, conquer initial confusion or lack of confidence, and proceed with discipline. Basics are stressed--character, story, point of view, voice, style--as well as rhythm, pacing, psychological subtlety, development, imagery, color, tone, and the power of what's not stated but is nonetheless made clear. We discuss one another's original stories as well as classics by Chekhov, Joyce, and others. Assignments are given to students who need a gentle goad. Each story is individually critiqued by the instructor, and marketing advice is given. Professional writers and editors occasionally join our discussions.