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Storytelling: Writing Techniques for Fiction and Nonfiction

Semester and Year SP 2019
Course Number ELEC-GG2548
Section 001
Instructor Christopher Bram
Days R
Time 6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Units 4
Level G


Open to advanced undergraduates with permission of the instructor (


Whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, story is an important part of prose. Story here is not just narrative but order, sequence, and structure. Learning the right order for your sentences and thoughts is as important as learning how to put one foot in front of the other when learning to walk. In this course we will explore different ways to lay out actions and ideas, whether you're writing a novel, a book of history, an opinion piece, an essay or a short story. We will examine the best ways to make notes and sketch out early drafts as you find your voice and structure. You will gain practice in rewriting. And we will look at some different approaches to story by reading such writers as Milan Kundera, Janet Malcolm, Truman Capote, George Orwell, Sigrid Nunez, and Primo Levi. Students will submit for workshop two separate projects, one a work of fiction and the other a work of nonfiction, in at least two drafts each. In the end you are expected to produce a minimum of forty finished pages.


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Course Type

Graduate Electives (ELEC-GG)