EGL 45 — Essential Elements for Creative Writers: The Narrative Toolbox
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 23—Dec 2
Time: 6:30—9:00 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Sep 25
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Instructor(s): Lynn Stegner
Live Online(About Formats)
6:30—9:00 pm (PT)
Sep 23—Dec 2
No letter grade
It’s human nature to wonder what makes things tick and stories are no exception. They can seem marvelously mysterious in their workings. This course will break down and examine the many moving parts of narratives and in the process, students will acquire the tools to put them together and make them sing. Great novels, stories, and memoirs are all built using very similar and indispensable elements of composition. With Janet Burroway's long-esteemed volume, Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft as our foundational text, we will study each of these elements in turn, from point of view to plot, dialogue to description, sensory language and dynamic architecture, and more. Through lectures, discussions of selected readings highlighting specific narrative devices, and at-home writing exercises followed by oral presentations, students will gain a variety of story-making skills. How do you breathe life into characters? How do you gather up the past to inform the present, or summon background information to expand on a subject? What is the least intrusive method of weaving in exposition, or the smoothest way to leap ten years in a single sentence? Whether you’re conjuring your first story or you’ve encountered a systemic problem in your fifth book, this course should help sharpen the many tools that produce elegant writing.
This course includes a mix of lectures, group discussions, at-home writing exercises, and oral presentations. Please note that these class sessions will not be recorded.
Lynn Stegner, AuthorLynn Stegner has published four novels and a collection of stories. Undertow and Fata Morgana were both nominated for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and Pipers at the Gates of Dawn received a Faulkner Society Gold Medal. Her novel Because a Fire Was in My Head was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. She has received an NEA fellowship and a Fulbright scholarship, and is finishing a new novel.
Textbooks for this course:
(Required) Janet Burroway, Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft, 10th Edition (ISBN ISBN-13: 978-0-226-61669-8)