Schedule

Subject to change

 Note: all readings not hyperlinked can be found in Google Docs

Week 1: 8/21               THE FORMAL SPECTRUM OF FICTION

Reading

  • Poems from Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology
  • Narrative Theory: David Jausss, “Stacking Stones: Building a Unified Short Story Collection”
  • Cathy Day, “The Story Problem: 10 Thoughts on Academia’s Novel Crisis,” The Millions

Activity

  • Spoon River Anthology is a collection of linked poems. I’ve “unlinked” them, and we’ll work in small groups in order to “re-link” them. Using Jauss’s article as a springboard, we’ll also begin to develop a vocabulary for discussing linked fiction.

Week 2: 8/28               TURNING STORIES INTO A NOVEL

Reading (all before class)

  • Raymond Carver, Short Cuts (stories)
  • Robert Altman’s Short Cuts (film) – on reserve at Bracken Library

Activity

  • See: Short Cuts Active Viewing Worksheet
  • Group A: (Banning, Gutheil, Mack-Jackson) watch film first, then read stories.
  • Group B: (Englert, Maakestad, Thomsen) read stories first, then watch film.

WEEK 3: 9/4                TURNING A NOVEL INTO STORIES: Part 1

 Reading

ACTIVITY

  • Bring to class a list of subplots/layers/throughlines in Mrs. Bridge

WEEK 4: 9/11               TURNING A NOVEL INTO STORIES: PART 2

Reading

Activity

  • Each student will “extract” a short story from the novel and present it in class. Due on TUESDAY by 5 PM so that we have time to read them before class.

YOUR WRITING

  • Write a 2-10 sentence “logline” that describes the project you’ll be working on this semester. You have the option to share it on your blog (public) or in Google docs (private).

Week 5: 9/18                 CHAPTERS VS. STORIES: Part 1

READING

  • Fiction: Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio,
  • Narrative Theory: Mann, from The Short Story Cycle, chapter on Winesburg, Ohio
  • Narrative Theory, Norm Friedman, “What Makes a Short Story Short?”

Activity

  • Group A: Strategize how to make Winesburg, Ohio less “novel-like”
  • Group B: Strategize how to make Winesburg, Ohio more “novel-like”

Rex Pickett Virtual Visit to campus!

WEEK 6: 9/25               CHAPTERS VS. STORIES: PART 2

Reading

  • Fiction: Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried
  • Narrative Theory: James Nagel, “The Nightmare of Resonance: Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried”

Activity

  • Group A: How many diptychs can you extract from The Things They Carried?
  • Group B: How many triptychs can you extract from The Things They Carried?

WEEK 7: 10/2               CHAPTERS VS. STORIES: PART 3

Reading

  • Fiction: Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad
  • Narrative Theory: John Barth, “It’s a Short Story”

ACTIVITY

  • Group A: Restructure the book from “A” and “B” side into 2 or 3 other sections, such as a “Bennie” section and a “Sasha” section, etc.
  • Group B: Restructure the book into chronological order 

WEEK 8: 10/9               FIVE NARRATIVE MODES: The Building Blocks of Fiction

ACTIVITY

  • Translate the Egan story “Great Rock and Roll Pauses” from Power Point to a “normal” story. There will be times when you must become very inventive in order to “translate” some of the material.
  • We’ll also discuss the format of your manuscripts.

WEEK 9: 10/16                         No Class, conferences available         

WEEK 10: 10/23           WORKSHOP YOUR PROJECTS

1.        

2.         

WEEK 11: 10/30           WORKSHOP YOUR PROJECT

3.                    

4.        

WEEK 12: 11/6             WORKSHOP YOUR PROJECT

5.        

6.         

WEEK 13: 11/13           PREP FOR VWS VISIT           

READING

  • Kathleen Rooney, Robinson Alone

Week 14: 11/20              KATHLEEN ROONEY VISIT

  • No class
  • Attend her class visit and reading at 7:30 PM

WEEK 15: 11/27           THANKSGIVING—NO CLASS

WEEK 16: 12/4                THE SUBMISSION PROCESS: Reviewing Query Letters

WEEK 17: 12/12              FINALS

Our scheduled final exam time is:

(I think) Thurs, Dec. 12 at 2:15 PM

that’s when your final manuscript is due.

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