Open to advanced undergraduates with permission of the instructor (Vapnyar@hotmail.com).
The main goal of this course is to provide students with ways how to enhance traditional storytelling by new technologies without diminishing the role of the written word. We will examine every aspect of the craft of traditional fiction writing: plot, structure, point of view, narrative voice, dialogue, building of individual scenes, etc as well as the new techniques of the digital age: hypertext, visual and audio images, social media. We will learn how to balance the traditional with the new without overwhelming the written text with gadgets. The class will become a creative lab studying ideas by others, coming up with their own, presenting their fiction, responding to the writing of others, and discussing questions about literature, editing, and publishing in the digital age. Each student will create and present to class a work of fiction based on some of the ideas we will be discussing. The works don’t have to be in the electronic form, but the students will need to explain how they would work. Each student will create a basic website with a writer’s profile and portfolio of her works. Readings will include fiction by: Borges, Nabokov, Michael Joyce, Margaret Atwood, Jennifer Egan.