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Advanced Fiction Writing

Semester and Year SP 2019
Course Number WRTNG-UG1555
Section 001
Instructor Chris Spain
Days W
Time 6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Units 4
Level U


Prerequisite WRTNG-UG 1550 or CRWRI-UA 815 or CRWRI-UA 816 or CRWRI-UA 820 or permission of instructor. Students may take "Advanced Fiction Writing" two times.


The aim of this class is to present the (mostly) verifiable, repeatable, teachable, learnable and nearly non-negotiable elements—scene, summary, evoking of the senses, want, choice, et cetera—of the theory of story that repeatedly wake a want in the reader to reach for the next page. The Scientific Method is our model, and we use published narratives—from The New Yorker, Zoetrope, others—for field observation, vivisection, analysis. The idea is to help you begin to acquire the tools of dramatic narrative—through systematic measurement, experiment, modification of hypotheses—necessary to avoid reader indifference. Students turn in three drafts of fiction, each 10-14 pages long, to be critiqued in a workshop setting. Critiques are rigorous but constructive: no nastiness allowed. The "Advanced" of the course title (with any luck) refers to the evolving critical skills of committed students of fiction writing.


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Course Type

Advanced Writing Courses (WRTNG-UG)