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The Story You Must Tell

Semester and Year SP 2018
Course Number ELEC-GG2530
Section 001
Instructor Michael Dinwiddie
Days R
Time 3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Units 4
Level G


Open to advanced undergraduates with permission of the instructor (


This course is about writing, researching, and workshopping the story that you must tell, and shaping its form as a play, screenplay, novel or work of creative nonfiction. The workshop will examine approaches to creating a compelling narrative in a supportive, encouraging environment of peers striving to reach the next artistic plateau. Some of the questions that will be considered are: How much should characters reflect actual people, or be fictionalized composites? What elements can be utilized to complement and enhance the storytelling? And what ethical issues are raised in such decision-making? Whether the tales are connected to family, culture, gender or 'race' memory, there are certain strategies that may further the development of works that draw from creative imagination and historical sources. Texts may include  The Orchid Thief  by Susan Orlean,  The Dramatist's Toolkit  by Jeffrey Sweet,  White Teeth  by Zadie Smith,  The Art of Dramatic Writing  by Lajos Egri,  M. Butterfly  by David Henry Hwang, and such films as  Adaptation, Shadow Magic  and  Teza .


All Syllabi

Course Type

Graduate Electives (ELEC-GG)