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Fall 17 Seminar Course

Eng 412a (S):  Seminar:  Beginning a Novel, Story Collection, or Memoir

(Professor Eslami)

This is a seminar for students who want to begin (or continue) their first book-length project: a novel, short story collection, or memoir. Emphasis is on the early generation of a project that will evolve substantially beyond this course.

Here you will aim to build literary muscle, developing the strengths you already have and addressing those weak spots you’ve become so adept at concealing. You’ll graph electrocardiograms charting character and plot development. What’s rate of revelation of information, or R of R, and how is it measured? What is a “half-known world;” how do we create one, and why would we want to? Let’s find out. We will read as writers, rigorously and deeply, as we analyze the novels, story collections, and essays that will form the basis of our discussion.

Students will be expected to generate new work on a weekly basis, share their work-in-progress, and receive feedback from the group. This is a process class. It is assumed that the work we are doing is early stage work. However, for the final project, students will create a substantially revised excerpt that should serve as a solid foundation for the book to come.