CNF 03 W — Creative Nonfiction, Book III: The Turning Point
This course, a continuation of “Creative Nonfiction I and II,” embraces the highs and lows of the book-writing experience. In this course, we will delve into the “long middle” of your manuscript—which, depending on your project, can be anything past chapter one. Our theme for the quarter will be the turning point—an actual and metaphorical description for the type of work that must happen once manuscripts have moved beyond their beginning stages. Not only will your writing need to push characters into new territories—forcing self-exploration, revelation, and change (also known as turning points)—but also you, as the writer, must do the same.
We will start with these tough questions: Does your structure support your storytelling? Will the narrative choices you have made so far encourage the completion of a book? Next, we will push our writing to new highs through intense workshopping and discussion of character, scene, dialogue, plot, tension, and voice. We will address strategies for organization and conducting supplemental research, and we will cope with the anxiety that can affect morale. Over ten weeks, you will produce the equivalent of three chapters or linked essays (about fifty pages) and submit twenty-five of those pages for workshopping.
This is the third course of the three-quarter sequence, “The Creative Nonfiction Book.” Creative nonfiction is a fast-growing genre that includes memoir, essays, biography, and writing on such topics as art, science, and history. For those who want to write a book of creative nonfiction, “Creative Nonfiction, Book I: A Plan for Success” (Winter 2018), “Creative Nonfiction, Book II” (Spring 2018), and “Creative Nonfiction, Book III” (Summer 2018) will provide invaluable instruction and a supportive community. While these courses build upon one another, each course can be taken independently as well.
Anne Zimmerman, AuthorAnne Zimmerman is the author of An Extravagant Hunger: The Passionate Years of M.F.K. Fisher. She compiled and introduced two subsequent collections of Fisher’s work: Love in a Dish...And Other Culinary Delights, and M.F.K. Fisher: Musings on Wine and Other Libations. Zimmerman has written for Mix magazine, Meatpaper, Culinate, The Kitchn, Tasting Table, Diner Journal, and others. She is finishing a memoir.
Textbooks for this course:
(Required) Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd, Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction (ISBN 0812982150)