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FICT 106 — Fiction Writing: Narrative Point of View

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 26—Dec 5
Time: 6:30—9:20 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 9
Units: 3
Tuition: $665
Instructor(s): Lynn Stegner
Limit: 21
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 21
6:30—9:20 pm
Sep 26—Dec 5
10 weeks
Drop By
Oct 9
3 Units
Lynn Stegner
Please Note: No class on November 21
Intended for writers at all stages, this course will focus initially on narrative point of view—who tells the story and why? Through whose eyes do we view and interpret the characters and their action? Students will bring works in progress, around twenty pages of a story or a chapter from a novel, for roundtable discussion and critique. While we will consider all aspects of the work, ranging from narrative architecture to significant detail and effective, economical dialogue, we will pay particular attention to exploring the dramatic advantages and thematic consequences of various points of view, with an eye to finding the right one for each story or novel. We will also read a collection of short masterpieces—from Alice Munro, Frank O’Connor, Louise Erdrich, John Cheever, and others—each of which exemplifies a different method of narration. What are the narrator’s motivations, and how do those motivations shape and drive the plot? The interplay between the narrative lens, or perspective, of a story and its content must not only cast a spell of imaginative credibility, but also uncover, layer by layer, the story or novel’s themes. Of course, our true aim is to help make our fiction the best that it can be in all ways, beginning with the writer’s opening decision: point of view.

Lynn Stegner, Author

Lynn 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 was awarded a Faulkner Society Gold Medal. Her novel Because a Fire Was in My Head was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. She received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as a Fulbright Scholarship to Ireland.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) James Moffett & Kenneth R. McElheny, Points of View: An Anthology of Short Stories, 1995 Revised Edition (ISBN 0-451-62872-1)