Nonfiction: Form and Technique
Term: Spring 2022 - Full Term (01/25/2022 - 05/09/2022)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Times & Locations
|Start Date||End Date||Days||Time||Location|
|1/25/2022||5/9/2022||M||9:10am - 12:00pm||HS 250C|
English 808/Form & Technique of Nonfiction: On Structure.
As master nonfiction writer John McPhee says, “A piece of writing has to start somewhere, go somewhere, and sit down when it gets there.” What McPhee knows and we will explore is the myriad of structures that move true stories from beginning to end. In this seminar, we will focus on narrative architecture and how to determine the arrangement that best suits the nonfiction tale, from straight chronology to reverse chronology to braided to lyric to circular to collage and beyond. We will read a range of long form and short form works by authors including McPhee, Maggie Nelson, Jerald Walker, Jaquira Diaz, Leslie Jamison, and Ander Monson, paying close attention to how they build tension and add layers. We will also play with structure in our own writing each week, culminating in a portfolio comprising a variety of narrative construction. Too often, we approach story assembly the same way. This course will shove us out of our comfort zone.