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FICT 40 W — The Art of Revision: Losing Yourself, Finding Your Voice

Quarter: Fall
Course Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Sep 25—Dec 8
Drop Deadline: Sep 28
Units: 3
Tuition: $880
Instructor(s): Thomas McNeely
Limit: 17
Status: Open
Please Note: No class the week of November 20. Update: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 9/28 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 10/3 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Fall
Date(s)
Sep 25—Dec 8
10 weeks
Drop By
Sep 28
3 Units
Fees
$880
Instructor(s):
Thomas McNeely
Limit
17
Open
Please Note: No class the week of November 20. Update: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 9/28 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 10/3 at 5:00 pm (PT).
You have brilliant beginnings to a dozen stories. You have just as many promising first—or second or tenth—drafts. Now what? Moving past those first pages or drafts requires that authors listen closely to what their stories have to tell them. Sometimes this can mean changing one critical authorial decision. It can also mean a radical re-envisioning of a story’s shape, voice, point of view, plot, or characters.

In this course, we will grapple with the truth that growing as a writer often means going beyond what we originally intended for our work. What does the story demand of us? What decisions must the characters make, what risks must they take—and how can we portray these decisions and risks when they are unlike anything we would do? In two rounds of workshop, we will examine drafts of your short stories (either two separate stories or one story and its revision). In the first round, we will focus on fundamental issues of plot, voice, character, and point of view. In the second, we will look at narrative techniques such as summary and manipulation of narrative time. This course is appropriate for writers of all levels.

Thomas McNeely, Former Jones Lecturer and Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Thomas McNeely’s stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and other magazines and anthologies. His work has been short-listed for The Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Stories, and the Pushcart Prize. In 2008, he received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Prose. His first novel, Ghost Horse, was published in 2014. McNeely received an MFA from Emerson College.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Stone and Nyren, Deepening Fiction: A Practical Guide for Intermediate and Advanced Fiction Writers (ISBN 032119537X)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)