Spec Study in Creative Writing
Term: Fall 2022 - Full Term (08/29/2022 - 12/12/2022)
Grade Mode: Letter Grading
Times & Locations
|9:40am - 12:30pm
Fall 2022 Special Topic: The Novella
Short novel? Longer than a short story, but shorter than a novel? Ian McEwan described the form as “…long enough for the reader to inhabit a world or a consciousness and be kept there, short enough to be read in a sitting or two and for the whole structure to be held in mind at first encounter--the architecture of the novella is one of its immediate pleasures.” In lively discussions we'll approach the novella as writers examining the technical aspects of fiction: point of view, dramatic action, plot and subplot, dialogue, character, language, description and theme. We'll ask questions of the form: What are the demands for economy, clarity and focus? How is forward momentum achieved and tension maintained? Is the design and purpose of the novella different from a longer work? As we question each author’s intent and choices, we'll also reflect on the choices we make in our own work, as well as try our hand at creative writing, completely unique, but inspired by these novellas. Texts will include Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan, On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan; Train Dreams by Denis Johnson; The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa; So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell; The Dead by James Joyce; Ordinary Love and Good Will by Jane Smiley and others.