RCHUMS 220 - Narration
Section: 001 Introduction to Fiction Writing
Term: WN 2019
Subject: RC Humanities (RCHUMS)
Department: LSA Residential College
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

What is fiction, and what does it mean to make (up) a story? As a beginning writer, how do you figure out what stories you have to tell, and how do you make them comprehensible and powerful for a reader? And anyway, why does it even matter, in this moment in history, to tell stories?

Anaïs Nin wrote that “The artist is the only one who knows that the world is a subjective creation, that there is a choice to be made, a selection of elements.” In this introductory seminar, we’ll think about the “choices” we have as writers and the “elements” we might select. We’ll write stories, discuss and critique each other’s work, and revise. We’ll also pay close attention to short stories by a variety of contemporary authors (such as Amy Hempel, George Saunders, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), to learn from the choices their fiction represents.

As for why it “matters,” one of the most inventive storytellers of our century might have an answer. George Saunders has said that “Fiction is a kind of compassion-generating machine that saves us from sloth. Is life kind or cruel? Yes, Literature answers. Are people good or bad? You bet, says Literature. But unlike other systems of knowing, Literature declines to eradicate one truth in favor of another.” We may need nothing right now so much as more compassion and a better ability to consider the complexity of truth. If fiction will help, let’s get cracking.

Course requirements include careful reading and preparation for class, participation in class discussions and workshops, thoughtful analytical writing and ambitious creative writing, openness to hearing and making use of critical feedback, and a final portfolio.

LSA and Ross first- and second-year students must seek permission of instructor to enroll.

RCHUMS 220 - Narration
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
4RC Ugrd
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
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