This is an advanced workshop in writing literary fiction for students who have taken at least one introductory level fiction course and thus have experience with the workshop process. This course seeks to approach (without re-introducing) familiar craft-of-fiction elements such as dialogue, point of view, and scene/summary from new angles, but we will focus on our attention on the craft of time in fiction. In The Art of Time in Fiction, writer Joan Silber asserts that “all fiction has to contend with the experience of time passing….This parade of events is what distinguishes the narrative impulse from the purely lyrical one.” In this class, we will examine how fiction writers represent, compress, elongate, spotlight, mask, or otherwise manipulate the passing of time in their stories-how, that is, they gain control of a reader’s sense of how much (or how little) time is passing for the characters within the story. Specifically, we will focus on the categories that Silber offers for examining time spans in fiction: classic time, long time, switchback time, slowed time, and fabulous time. We will read contemporary and classic short stories (as well as a long story) that manipulate time in innovative ways. Some authors we are likely to read include Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Edward P. Jones, Angela Carter, Deborah Eisenberg, Faulkner, and Alice Munro.
In summer 2021, this class will be delivered remotely. This interactive workshop includes a mix of live synchronous Zoom sessions and a range of asynchronous reading and writing activities. Courses are embedded within a robust series of public programs (including readings, workshops, and panel discussions) that SWI students will also engage in.
Tentative schedule for synchronous meetings: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30–7 p.m.; either Saturday or Sunday, 2-3:30 p.m. on the first two weekends; both Saturday and Sunday, 2–3:30 p.m. on the final weekend.