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FICT 45 — Fiction Workshop: Writing Dynamic Scenes (CANCELLED)

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Jun 27—Aug 8
Time: 6:30—9:30 pm
Drop Deadline: Jul 17
Units: 2
Tuition: $475
Instructor(s): Ron Nyren
Limit: 21
Status: Cancelled
Please Note: No class on July 4
On-campus course
6:30—9:30 pm
Jun 27—Aug 8
6 weeks
Drop By
Jul 17
2 Units
Ron Nyren
Please Note: No class on July 4
Dramatic scenes are the key to making short stories and novels compelling. They are the moments when readers watch relationships form or break, characters commit themselves to irreversible actions, or power balances shift from one person to another. In early drafts, writers often find that their characters yearn without acting, think instead of speaking up, or relive the past without moving forward. In this course for writers at any level, we will draw on the tools of fiction and playwriting to push our characters into authentic, dramatic action. We will explore how to orchestrate plot, motivation, dialogue, setting, and summary to shape scenes into a meaningful arc. In-class exercises will help you experiment with applying these craft tools in your own fiction. We will discuss fiction by Richard Bausch, Edward P. Jones, Jhumpa Lahiri, Joan Silber, and others to discover how they build narrative tension and place characters in meaningful predicaments. You will come away with a set of strategies that will help you use dramatic action to crack open your characters and reveal the layers they try to conceal from the world and themselves.

Ron Nyren, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Ron Nyren’s fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, North American Review, Glimmer Train Stories, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. He is the co-author of Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Writers and a former editor of Furious Fictions: The Magazine of Short-Short Stories. Nyren received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Lex Williford and Michael Martone, editors, The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction: 50 North American Stories Since 1970, 2nd Edition (ISBN 978-1416532279)