CRWR 3021: Fiction II section 01

Lesley Choyce

MWF 12:35–1:25 Format: Lecture, discussion, seminar

This course will build on the fundamentals of fiction writing presented in Fiction I and the emphasis will be on writing the novel. It will involve some study of novels and what novelists have written about the craft of fiction, but the primary concentration is on the students' own writing.

As in Fiction I, some aspects of the course will involve theory but the primary focus will be on the process of writing --  in this case, everything from the basics of getting started on a novel to the process of publishing.

Students will be expected to participate fully in the course through attendance, reading, writing and discussion. Grades will be based on the following:

a.) major written work (75%) -- this includes a prologue, novel synopsis, and developmental chapters towards a completed work.

b.) writing exercises, attendance and participation (25%) -- this includes in-class writing exercises, in-class presentations of creative work, and critical discussions of other students' work in a constructive forum.

Through lecture, student presentation and discussion, the course will cover the following:

1. The raw material-- where ideas/ concepts for novels come from: introductory lectures concerning how writers form stories from imagination and real life experience and how the craft of writing begins to bring meaning to events.

2. The basic creative process of writing an extended narrative: lectures, readings and discussions  concerning the differences between the short story and the novel.

3. History of the novel - traditional and experimental forms: readings of various novel excerpts, analysis and an overview of the development of the modern novel.

4. Conflict and crisis -- dramatic elements, pacing, emotion: seminar classes examining student work on crafting a sustainable conflict and creating effective tension through plot and character traits.

5. Structure of a novel -- outlines, outline revision and other methods: an examination of professional novelists' outlines that have gone through several stages and discussion of student examples of outlines in progress.