2250 Course Calendar

Creative Process and Imaginative Writing 
by Lee Ann Mortensen, Professor at Utah Valley University

 

Updated 12/11/17 4:01 PM - subject to change

 

  M W F M W M W M W M W
August 21 23   28 30            
September 4 6   11 13 18 20 25 27    
October 2 4   9 11 16 18 23 25 30  
November 1 6   8 13 15 20 22 27 29  
December

4

6 8 11

13

Th14

18

20      
1

Dates

Discussions, Readings, & Exercises

Lee's Lecture Notes

Aug. 21

Fetish and Creativity: what seduces us?
Introduction
: Syllabus & Calendar

Readings due before class:

  • Books: see syllabus
    • Metro is our main exercise and theory book, so get it asap.
 

Day 1 Lecture Notes

Aug. 23

Fetish and Creativity: what seduces us?
Introduction
: Syllabus & Calendar

Readings due before class:

 

Assignments due before class:

  • Be a committed and mature student and writer.
  • E.mail me from your most used E.mail account: mortenle@uvu.edu. Be sure you forward your UVLink mail to your most used email address.
  • Journal 1: your choice--you should write in your journal 2-3 times a week (or more), then when this calendar asks, you can upload a sample of it to Canvas Assignments: When you do open Journals the other 2 times this week, start now by writing down observations/obsessions/descriptions of "interesting" things  you see, hear, taste, feel, think, intuit; or a bit of fetish language or phrases you read or think up; or some deep philosophical issues you are intensely engaged with (things you could bring into your writing); You can collect things like Metro suggests p. 12-18--epigraphs and quotes (try Brianyquote and look up your favorite authors), then combine them for a "textual mosaic"; You can also scan newspapers for interesting language or situations or characters; or try an exercise in Metro we aren't doing in class. Freewrite about the most interesting of these for 30 minutes, and you may be asked (but probably not) to share snipets in class.

Think about ambiguity and New Criticism's idea of close reading

Think about poetry in Day 2 lecture notes

Day 2 Lecture Notes

Aug. 28

What Seduces Us in Objects and Texts? What theories can guide writers?

Readings due before class:

  • Metro: Introduction for Students and Reading pp. xxiv-23 (cannon; collecting quotes; inhabiting a poem)--see Canvas Files if you still don't have your book.
  • Metro: Lorde p. 281; Plath p. 293; Ortiz-Taylor p. 360-63; Moody p. 314-317--see Canvas Files if you still don't have your book.
  • Syllabus and think of questions.
  • ALWAYS bring textbooks (the ones we are currently reading over the last week or two), thumb drives (with writing), journal (this will be assumed from now on).
  • Handout: Poetry vocabulary.

 

Assignments due before class (unless otherwise noted):

  • Exercise 1: Autobiographical Cannon from Metro pp. 7-8, and see the Rick Moody sample Metro pp. 314-317: write 900 creative (non-fiction; poetry; fiction; play) words minimum about your autobiographical cannon, the most important or loved or obsessed over works you have read (or seen) from your past (texts that transformed you in some way, that were part of pivotal moments or pivotal people). For instance, you can start by brainstorming a list of important texts in your life, then write solely about one, or write about all of them (within the word limit). You might use a more traditional genre like an essay format, but you might also be more "experimental" and use a list format, or even a poetry format. You should include some personal narrative about your connections to these texts. We will post this to Canvas (click on Assignments on the right, then on Ex. 1 Autobiographical Cannon, then cut and paste or attach).

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

 


Is your Ex. 1 Canon stylized or straightforward?

Annie Dillard's “Total Eclipse” is full of metaphors...

 

 

Aug. 30

The Senses, and Poetic Form Part 1

Readings Due Before Class:

  • Canvas Handout: Robert Lowell's foreword to Plath's Ariel in Canvas Files--READ THIS FIRST
  • Ariel: Restored: read Freida's foreword and the first 8 poems--see Canvas Files if you still don't have your book
  • Metro: 52 (Kumin's Appetite poem--see Canvas Files if you still don't have your book.)
  • Web Handout: a quick bio on Plath that might help you read her (or not).
  • Web Handout: William Carlos Williams for minimalist imagery (imagist poetry, and Koch for minimalist parody

Assignments due before class (unless otherwise noted):

  • Journal 2--"Imagery Notebook": Description is a key element of prose and fiction writing--it can help you "paint" a picture of a setting or a character in the reader's mind. Description can also help solidify a narrative voice as a unique entity depending on how details are worked with. You can do a Metro metaphor exercise (pp. 95-96; like idea mapping where you start with a key word that keeps coming up in your journaling, then come up with as many metaphors as possible); or choose 3 objects or spaces and brainstorm all the concrete images (sensory detail: touch, sound, smell, taste, see), as well as similes, metaphors, personifications, and analogies you can think of for each. Choose objects/spaces in your journal, things you already obsess over, or new things. If you can't think of objects or spaces, use these: an ashtray, the floor of a cinema, your neighbor's head. Spend enough time that you really start to push against/away from cliches. Upload to Canvas Assignments.

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Day 3 Lecture Notes

add more to your Imagery Notebook in class:

  • what abstract ideas, characters, settings, or words keep coming up in your journals?
    • freedom
    • Tommy
  • describe it's moment with only direct, concrete sensory detail
  • describe it's moment with only metaphor or simile
Sep. 4 Labor Day Holiday  
??

??Warp n Weave submissions are now being accepted due???

Touchstones opening social ?!

 
Sep. 6

More on Form II, and Demystifying Poems, and writing your own poem

Readings Due Before Class
:

Assignments due before class (unless otherwise noted):

  • Exercise 2: Inhabiting and Transforming a poem; use Metro p. 18-19; #1-7. 1-3 to be completed in your journal (you can experiment there, but you don't need to turn it in); 4, 5 and 6 to be uploaded to Canvas Discussions (in Canvas, the sample from George has step 1 in it too, so you could go ahead and include that like he did, but at least tell us which poem you are inhabiting). Click here for more specifics of this assignment. This Inhabiting and Transforming a poem exercise helps you you apprentice with a poem we've read in class (or will read), and eventually write your own poem. Metro shows you this assignment with the Character/Girl poem. You can inhabit any poem we haven't discussed in Metro, or browse for one at Poets.org. In the Canvas Discussions instructions, you will also see an example of 4-6/7 under the assignment guidelines. Upload to Canvas Assignments.


Lee's Lecture Notes:

Day 4 Lecture Notes

New Criticism and close reading

Day 6 neoformalism

Sep. 11

 

 

"Abstract" vs. "Narrative" Poetry

Readings Due Before Class
:

  • Read Ariel through p. 36 ("A Secret" through "Death and Co."
  • Metro pp. 70-77 (acrostic); 89-95 (sonnet); 179-181 (seeing shapes)
  • Hacker Metro p. 282 (neo-formalist sonnet)
  • Shakespeare Metro p. 305
  • Frost Metro p. 306
  • Pinksy Metro p. 308 (a sort of anti-sonnet sonnet)
  • Handout: Whitney's 6 poems (which is more abstract, which more metaphorical, which more minimalist?)
  • Start reading the Touchstones journal or Warp n' Weave--these are available for a small fee in CB407.


Assignments due before class
:

  • Ex. 3: free verse imagery poem. Based on the Journal--Imagery you did last time, the imagery poem discussion, and on Plath's explosive and quiet and surreal use of metaphors, write a poem that has a focus on imagery, without cliches (i.e. his green eyes were like the leaves on spring trees" is kind of a cliche), using organic or free verse (abandon form; don't think about rhyme), using small metaphors and similes, and/or using an extended metaphor throughout the whole poem. When you have an abstract idea, give it an image. "I looked into his evil eyes" isn't really that imagistic because "evil" is very abstract and invokes a lot of cliches. "His eyes seethed poison" is more imagistic (though "seethed" is a bit of a cliche). Avoid saying things in "boring" or cliched ways--avoid dead metaphors, in other words. You could also try a persona poem (like Gluck writing from the poppy's POV; or the poet who writes from the POV of bees); keep it poetry, though (though prose writers also pay a lot of attention to language like "Death and the Orange"...has images, and a story). Also think about the Metaphor/Metonymy section of Metro p. 95-96. Post to Canvas Assignments..
  • Ex. 4: a neo-formalist poem. You can follow Ostrom's advice for changing "chopped prose" (Metro p. 179-181), or you can choose a recieved or classic form like: a sonnet (Metro p. 95-96; The Marilyne Hacker sonnet on p. 282 is neo-formalist; click here for a quick guide to the two sonnet forms); 5 haiku (see this haiku web site for mutliple definitions, ideas, and examples); a villanelle (see description and Dylan Thomas's romantic "Do Not Go Gently"); a sestina (see Elizabeth Bishop's "Sestina"); a pantoum (see description, and Hacker's pantoum), a gazal like Bishop's found piece in Metro p. 303 (though I can't say it seems very form-like); or some other form you might happen upon (like Kumin's "Woodchucks"). A neo-formalist piece often follows a given form closely while also using contemporary language and situations; you can use sentence level similes and metaphors, and/or an overarching metaphor, (metaphors are often a great way to turn the abstract into the "concrete," or to create fresh images). Post this to Canvas Discussions.
  • Reply to two peer's Ex. 2's with a focus on #6 or #7 their original poem in Canvas (think about what works and why, and what might not work and why; try to verbally struggle with why you react the way you do; do line by line or word by word reactoins--don't be trolls!). Just choose your two peer poems randomly.
 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Day 5 Lecture Notes

Imagery

Blythian leaps (Metro p. 181)

 

Sep. 12 Tues.

creative writing event at 1pm

Annie Smith, MLS
Reference/Instruction Librarian
Fulton Library
Utah Valley University

******************
The Fall 2017 Roots of Knowledge Speaker Series kicks off on Tuesday, September 12 at 1:00pm in the Bingham Gallery, Fulton Library.  Rob Carney, Professor, English and Literature, College of Humanities and Social Sciences will present “Roots of Knowledge, Branches of Stories.”

Presentation Description:  The UVU Roots of Knowledge installation is a mural, but is also a way to tell our human story. Meaning, knowledge is rooted in storytelling. Professor Rob Carney will talk about that, recite some original stories, and--since this year marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation--nail his own new 95 Theses to the library air.

Refreshments will be served.

 

 

Sep. 13

Touchstones stories and poems Due before 11:59pm in LA 114 or by midnight to touchstones.journal@gmail.com! Or Google UVU Touchstones?? Art is due Sep. 28  

Sep. 13

Persona/Tone in Poetry, more Neo-formalism, and Sonnets, and Leaps

Readings Due Before Class
:

Assignments due before class:

  • Reading Reaction 1: 600 interpretive and/or "writerly" words for two poems we've read thus far (two poems help you create comparing/contrasting tension; what is surprising in each? what do you learn as a writer from the first and not the second poem?). Be sure to use textual evidence (quotes from the text that you closely read--this is how we give evidence in English). It's important to do some close reading of the connotations of those quotes to further explain your interpretations or your craft observations (from New Criticism). Of course, try to also comment on the form of the poems. Upload to Canvas Discussions: Reading Reaction 1.
  • Nick, Zack, Braden, Mark bring 21 copies of a poem you most want workshopped (this may be a revised piece, a new piece, something from your journal stash, something from a poetry ex. in Metro that we haven't tried etc.).Be sure the poem has some thought about avoiding or twisting cliches (cliched words, cliched ideas), and that it plays with some aspect metaphorical language, sensory detail (the avoidance of abstraction), and is perhaps even open to Robert Blythian leaps (Metro p. 181). Upload to Canvas Discussions: Poetry Workshop Drafts.

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Day 6 Lecture Notes

close reading with New Criticism...meter, sound (alliteration, assonance, consonance)

Metro p. 179--turning chopped prose into a more rhythmic and dense poem

 

 

In Class Journal: iambic pentameter, and sound play (alliteration, assonance, and consonanceO

  • Write down two lines with 10 syllables per line
  • Also make a couplet at the end, or make it have an AA rhyme scheme
  • Check the meter by using scansion  U  / should appear in each foot five times creating a pentameter rhythm of unstress; stress, more or less; revise the lines until you get iambic pentameter, or at least iambs
  • Try putting in some alliteration, consonance, or assonance in places
    •   /       U     U       /    U     /      U      /    U       /   
    • Z’s make me think I should be sleeping now
    •    U     U    /    U     /      U /    U     /    U                         
    • That the honey drips into my drawer

 

Blythian leaps (Metro p. 181)---lucky surreal images that are ramdon thoughts or dream details that you put into a poem to help it avoid easy paraphrase

 

Sep. 18

 

 

"Abstract" vs. Narrative Poetry, Publishing, And Workshopping

Readings Due Before Class:

  • Read and comment on classmate poems Nick, Zack, Braden, Mark (keep your written comments until we are done with the Oral Workshop in class, then put your name on them and hand them to the author; authors, be sure to keep track of the kinds and quality of comments you get from each of your peers since you will be grading them later). You can make initial comments about the overall poem, but you should also start making stanza by stanza, and even line by line comments (copy and paste the poem into your reply, then CAP LOCK your comments next to each line).  The better you get at commenting on craft choices, the better you can get at editing your own work.  You can comment on cliches vs. fresh language, rhythm problems (or strengths), sound play you like or have problems with, the persona/voice of the poem (and it's consistency or intensity or impact, or lack thereof), metaphors and concrete details that work or don't, line breaks that add meaning (endjambs) or that seem like "chopped prose" etc.
  • Online Reading: Carver: "Why Don't You Dance" (also on Canvas Files; a minimalist piece--what's it's significance? What's it about?)
  • Ariel: finish
  • If still needed, Handout on workshopping.
  • If still needed, Handout: Lee's Commenting Guide
  • Finish the Touchstones journal or Warp n' Weave journal you purchased from the English Dep. CB407


Assignments due before class
:

  • Reply to two Reading Reaction 1's in Canvas Discussions (see Announcements for groups, or simply choose two people to reply to--no ad hominem or personal attacks). Do you agree or disagree with their interpretations? Is there something they didn't think about? Is there a conversation about writing you can engage in with them?
  • Patrick, , Claire bring 21 copies of a poem you most want workshopped (this may be a revised piece, a new piece, something from your journal stash, something from a poetry ex. in Metro that we haven't tried etc.).Be sure the poem has some thought about avoiding or twisting cliches (cliched words, cliched ideas), and that it plays with some aspect metaphorical language, sensory detail (the avoidance of abstraction), and is perhaps even open to Robert Blythian leaps (Metro p. 181). Upload to Canvas Discussions: Poetry Workshop Drafts.

 

Day 7 Lecture Notes

Keep your workshop comments until those authors we read for today have been workshopped.

 

Start with the iambic pentameter journals...what was hard? What was easy?

 

Look at some Plath

Look at some Touchstones and Warp n Weave--you teach the class one interesting craft choice you noticed

 

Workshop!

 

--Be sure you've reviewed the Poetry Vocabulary Handout (I might be updating this throughout the semester)
--Read and comment on classmate poems (keep them with you until we are done with the Oral Workshop in class).
--Handout:
Lee's Commenting Guide

 

Sep. 20

 

 

Workshopping and Plath's voice/tone

Readings Due Before Class
:

  • Handout: workshopping (a reminder)
  • Bring Ariel...
  • Be sure you've reviewed the Poetry Vocabulary Handout
  • Read and comment on classmate poems Patrick, Kathrine, Jaryn, Claire (keep your written comments until we are done with the Oral Workshop in class, then put your name on them and hand them to the author; authors, be sure to keep track of the kinds and quality of comments you get from each of your peers since you will be grading them later). You can make initial comments about the overall poem, but you should also start making stanza by stanza, and even line by line comments (copy and paste the poem into your reply, then CAP LOCK your comments next to each line).  The better you get at commenting on craft choices, the better you can get at editing your own work.  You can comment on cliches vs. fresh language, rhythm problems (or strengths), sound play you like or have problems with, the persona/voice of the poem (and it's consistency or intensity or impact, or lack thereof), metaphors and concrete details that work or don't, line breaks that add meaning (endjambs) or that seem like "chopped prose" etc.
  • Bring Touchstones or Warp n Weave


Assignments due Before Class
:

  • Stacy, Kathrine, Jaryn, Blakely bring 21 copies of a poem you most want workshopped (this may be a revised piece, a new piece, something from your journal stash, something from a poetry ex. in Metro that we haven't tried etc.).Be sure the poem has some thought about avoiding or twisting cliches (cliched words, cliched ideas), and that it plays with some aspect metaphorical language, sensory detail (the avoidance of abstraction), and is perhaps even open to Robert Blythian leaps (Metro p. 181). Upload to Canvas Discussions: Poetry Workshop Drafts.


Announcements:

  • ?? Poem Revision assignment: Due one week after your workshop. See Canvas Assignments for details. Wait...still thinking about this

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Day 8 Lecture Notes

 

Look at some Touchstones and Warp n Weave--you teach the class one interesting craft choice you noticed; close reading of a story or poem

 

 

 

Sep. 25

Touchstones, From Poetry to Prose

Readings Due Before Class
:

  • Read Ariel through p. 65
  • Bring your Touchstones or Warp n' Weave!
  • Iglesia's "Thursday Afternoon" a prose poem at http://webdelsol.com/tpp/sp99-hi.htm
  • Bring Touchstones or Warp n' Weave
  • Winterson: start with "Genesis" of course!
  • Read and write comments on classmate poems handed out last time--Stacy, Kathrine, Jaryn, Blakely from Canvas Discussions Poetry Drafts--so we can have an efficient and intelligent oral workshop (keep your comments until we are done with the Oral Workshop in class, then put your name on them and hand them to Lee). You can make initial comments about the overall poem, but you should also start making stanza by stanza, and even line by line comments (copy and paste the poem into your reply, then CAP LOCK your comments next to each line).  The better you get at commenting on craft choices, the better you can get at editing your own work.  You can comment on cliches vs. fresh language, rhythm problems (or strengths), sound play you like or have problems with, the persona/voice of the poem (and it's consistency or intensity or impact, or lack thereof), metaphors and concrete details that work or don't, line breaks that add meaning (endjambs) or that seem like "chopped prose" etc.
  • Are you remembering to gather good material in your journal?

 

Assignments due Before Class:

  • Samantha, Cambryn, Dakota, Bethany bring 21 copies of a poem you most want workshopped (this may be a revised piece, a new piece, something from your journal stash, something from a poetry ex. in Metro that we haven't tried etc.).Be sure the poem has some thought about avoiding or twisting cliches (cliched words, cliched ideas), and that it plays with some aspect metaphorical language, sensory detail (the avoidance of abstraction), and is perhaps even open to Robert Blythian leaps (Metro p. 181). Upload to Canvas Discussions: Poetry Workshop Drafts.


Announcements:

  • Poem Revision assignment: Due at the end of the semester. See Canvas Assignments for details.

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Day 9 Lecture Notes

Something you noticed in Touchstones or Warp n Weave

Freytag's triangle--a basic narrative structure for fiction or creative non-fiction

 

Monomyth narrative structure...

 

 

 

Sep. 27

Narrative: Plot vs. Story in Poetry and Prose; Workshopping

Readings Due Before Class
:

  • Handout: Creative Writing Rubric 1.0 (in Canvas Files; can give you some ideas of how I might "grade")
  • Handout: Prose Vocabulary list (here is the Poetry Vocab List in case you need it for the quiz next week)
  • Metro: pp. 165-169 (what to do with criticism)
  • Metro pp. 170-184 (revision techniques)
  • Read and comment on classmate poems by Samantha, Cambryn, Dakota, Bethany so we can have an intelligent oral workshop (keep your comments until we are done with the Oral Workshop in class, then put your name on them and hand them to the author; be sure to keep track of the kinds and quality of comments you get from each of your peers since you will be grading them later).

Assignments due Before Class:

  • McKenna, Mark 1, Jason, Jennifer will bring 21 copies of a poem you most want workshopped (this may be a revised piece, a new piece, something from your journal stash, something from a poetry ex. in Metro that we haven't tried etc.). Upload to Canvas Discussions: Poetry Workshop Drafts.

 

Announcements:

  • Poem Revision assignment: Due one week after your workshop. See Canvas Assignments for details.

 


Lecture Notes Day 10

Warp n Weave or Touchstones--from you

 

The reflective voice in memoir writing

 

Freytag's triangle--basic narrative

 

3 Act Restorative structure in screenplays or plays

 

Plath's "Daddy" and Poetry Quiz--maximalism (Plath), vs minimalism (william carlos williams "the children")

 

The poet Ai and dramatic monologues ripped from the headlines: "Interview with a Policeman"

 

Revision?

Oct. 2







Warp & Weave submissions due by 11:59pm via email: warp.weave@gmail.com

Facebook: search warp n weave

 
Oct. 2

* Lee is sick--no class. The calendar will be moved a day to Oct 4! Workshop Readings due will be handed out  oct. 4th

 

 
Oct. 4

Non-Fiction, and the One Thing More

Readings Due Before Class
:

  • Metro: pp. 184-190; 23-26; 48-51; and pp. 205-208, 230-232
  • Winterson: "Exodus"
  • Ariel: bring it!
  • Bring Touchstones or Warp n Weave
  • Handout: Lee's non-fiction lecture.
  • Handout: Prose Vocabulary
  • Read and comment on ?? poems handed out last time--McKenna, Mark 1, Jason, Jennifer--so we can have an efficient and intelligent oral workshop (keep your comments until we are done with the Oral Workshop in class, then put your name on them and hand them to the author; be sure to keep track of the kinds and quality of comments you get from each of your peers since you will be grading them later).

Assignments due Before Class:

  • Poetry Quiz due by 11:59pm in Canvas Assignments.
  • Abigail and ? will bring 20 copies of a poem you most want workshopped (this may be a revised piece, a new piece, something from your journal stash, something from a poetry ex. in Metro that we haven't tried etc.). Upload to Canvas Discussions: Poetry Workshop Drafts.

 

Announcements:

  • Heads Up: Poem Revision assignment: Due two weeks after the last poetry workshop. See Canvas Assignments for details.

 

Lecture Notes Day 11

Warp n Weave or Touchstones--from you

More on Lopate's reflexivity in his book The Craft of Literary Nonfiction

compare to Winterson:

  • where do we see reflectivity in her book (everywhere)
  • where do we see metaphor?
  • Does this make it poetic

Freytag's Triangle

Monomyth or hero's journey

Three act restorative screenplay structure

Oct. 9

Workshopping Poems, and Creative Nonfiction
Readings Due Before Class:


--Finish commenting on poems as needed: Abigail
--Metro pp. 58-70
--Winterson: "Leviticus"
--Bring Touchstones or Warp n Weave--be ready to comment on one story or poem in front of the class
--Metro: Baker pp. 334-336 (my children explain)
--Metro: Marre pp. 336-half way through (start; a play as creative nonfiction?)
--Handout: Prose Vocabulary
--Are you remembering to gather good material in your journal?
--A Non-fiction sampler online:

--Andrei Codrescu audio on NPR (see new releases weekly; scroll down to click on one of the recent broadcasts)
--Annie Dillard excerpts on-line from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (she's a maximalist, but not a confesionalist like Plath)
--Jeanette Winterson audio about the moon...
--Barry Lopez--fiction and non-fiction cross over; excerpts on-line from


Assignments due Before Class:

  • In Class if we have time--Journal 4--Metro 58-70--choose one creative nonfiction prompt; upload to Canvas next week. It might help to do Ex. 5 first--see Oct. 11.
  • ??Workshop 2: who ?? will bring 21 copies of a story you most want workshopped (this may be a revised piece, a new piece, something from your journal stash, something from a poetry ex. in Metro that we haven't tried etc.). Upload to Canvas Discussions: Poetry Workshop Drafts.
  • In Class if we have time--Journal TBA Metro p. 49--just trying to give you journaling ideas since the journal is where I turn in order to get ideas for the beginning of stories.

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:


Freytag's Triangle

 

2. Signifiers.
2. Discuss final book--will contain something from each genre.
3. Inhabiting the Other--memories, concretes, dialogue/ways of talking, fixations
4. 50 Character questions: Metro p. 131+
5. Orwell's 1984--what if?  The central question of fiction...
6. G. Lish's fiction workshop--tell us a secret, something no one else knows...(but did I tell you it didn't have to be true?)
1. Frost: a poem (or any writing, says lee) is about one thing and one thing more--what are the deeper Truth's in some of Sedaris' essays (or are some simply yarns?)?6. David Sedaris' modern "piquaresque."

??--Metro p. 129-133 (character questions)??Exercise 6: choose 10 of the 20 character questions in Metro p. 131-132 to help you explore a character (other than"yourself") from your secret narrative, and answer the questions for them; choose "yourself" as a character (from your secret narrative) and answer the questions for you.  Go back to your secret narrative and play with these additional ideas.

 

    •  
    • 1.?? Reading Reaction 4: do a one-page, 300 word, double-spaced reaction to one of the Sedaris pieces we've read for today (why do you like it or hate it?  what does it do to surprise you in subject matter and in technique?  Dialogue? Characterization? What seems obsessive or surprising about it?). Upload this to Canvas
    • .--Naked: "The Incomplete Quad" and "C.O.G." (the picaresque period)

 

Oct. 11

Creative Nonfiction's (and Frost's) One Thing More; Lopate's Reflectivity
Readings Due Before Class:

  • Winterson: "Numbers"
  • Barry Lopez: "Desert Notes" in Canvas Files
  • added today--Lopate's essay is in Canvas Files--heads up, read it for next time...
  • Metro: Marre finish (a play as creative nonfiction?)
  • Handout: workshopping redux.
  • Read and comment on ?? so we can have an efficient and intelligent oral workshop (keep your comments until we are done with the Oral Workshop in class, then put your name on them and hand them to the author; be sure to keep track of the kinds and quality of comments you get from each of your peers since you will be grading them later).


Assignments due Before Class:

  • Exercise 5: work on a persona or character for your self or your own first person voice that can help you reflect on a true story you want to try to write.  Think about Phillip Lopate's idea of finding our quirks, conflicts, patterns, scary thoughts, and boring thoughts, and bringing dramatization to that. What tone/voice will you use to tell a true story?  What specific attitude will you use to focus yourself on what transparency or opacity of you as a character will you work with? What answers can you come up with about the 5 best character questions by Proust's?
  • Reading Reaction 2: 600 writerly words about Touchstones or Warp n' Weave (use the Poetry and Prose vocabulary sheets to help you with more craft oriented comments). What editorial biases did you notice, and how? What works did you like most and why? What does reading this magazine tell you about publishing? What would you "normally" be compelled to read based on the first sentence/line (and why--Lish's pony metaphor)? What doesn't compel you and why? Upload this to Canvas discussions.
  • Question to think about: How are you going to revise your workshop poems?
  • Journal 4--Metro 58-70: guided fiction journal from Metro 58-77. Since we didn't get to this in class, go ahead and upload some kind of brainstorming or freewriting based on a few of the non-fiction prompts in Metro. In other words, what can you use here to write a story about yourself or your background? Upload to Canvas Assignments.

 

Lee's Non-Fiction lecture: everywhere we look there is narrative; order vs chaos, and building characters' truths with fiction (or fictional techniques)

David Sedaris reading about undecided voters and his mother (we got to 8:28)

Terry Tempest Williams reading When Women Were Birds (we got to about 13 min.; start around 7min)

More on Freitag's Triangle, and the Monomyth hero's journey...(Youtube video about the monomyth in Star Wars, Matrix, Harry Potter)--epics are more the realm of fiction; many writers try to disrupt these kinds of plot expectations; it's easier to avoid major plots in some creative non-fiction

Joanna Brooks' reading--not very detailed at the start, but she does start thinking about larger patterns or themes which brings in more artistry to telling stories about family history (loneliness turns into community)

--Web Interview: browse Floyd's narratives (an African American WWII liberator telling his story; pick two of the web pages): www.tellingstories.org/liberators/fdade/fdade_frameset.html 

...and what to leave out

http://www.the-writers-craft.com/point-of-view-in-literature.htmlYou can also write an associative narrative inhabiting something from nature like Barry Lopez does (Metro p. 66, #7).  There are also numerous other prompts you can follow from these pages of Metro, or you can try or write a small story about a place like Bailey White; and of course, you can always try your hand at writing about people, or grotesques, like Sedaris does). ..write another fiction draft based on any of the Metro prompts from the 17th (y in x land; what if), or pick a great starting line or character from your journal collections; you can also try playing with some postmodern strategies (see the pomo laundry list).

Oct. 16

Creative Nonfiction
Readings Due Before Class:


Assignments due Before Class
:

  • Exercise 6 Nonfiction Prompt(s) (you will also be put in a group for replies due next week, or use a past group; Lee may also put people without comments in a group) you may choose any Nonfiction prompt for a draft from Metro creative non-fiction prompts pp. 58-70 (with a view toward getting a workshop draft).  This should be as long as it needs to be, but shoot for 900-3000 words. Post the early notes/draft to Canvas Discussions: Ex. 5.
    • You may choose to freewrite about birth year (Metro p. 9 #4 or #5--do research on your birth year/birth day on www.google.com and explore; take notes in journal, and write from those (here's great stuff from 1964); or any of the others from those pages, or you could write about your father or mother's birthyears etc
    • You could do the texture of a public place that speaks to you (Metro p. 62+)
    • You could write about a place memory (Metro 58-62) or childhood memory or lost places memory). Think of an interesting place (for me, it's my grade school, Madison #1); freewrite details, oddities; what emotions come up from that place?  Was it a good or bad place?  Why does it have power?  What's the story or conflict?  Other characters?  What is that place like to me now--p. 61. Think about how Winterson writes about the labor town she grew up in--and her house, the church, etc. This should be as long as it needs to be.
    • You could write about an object (p. 64+), or write about something, an activity, you know a lot about (p. 67+).
    • Or choose any Metro creative nonfiction exercise you haven't played with before, or one you've only journaled about.
    • You could also try apprenticing or writing in the style of the authors in the non-fiction sampler from last week (maybe you want to do a commentary piece like Andre Codrescu; maybe you'd be into a maximalist piece about an event you were at, or a moment in nature you experienced, like Annie Dillard often does; you might also want to start your autobiographical novel a la Jeanette Winterson, or write about your changing childhood environment like Lopez; you could also apprentice with David Sedaris and write about a job you've had that was surreal and ridiculous like Sedaris's Santa Land Diaries).

     

Day 14 Lecture Notes

Mention Freytag's Triangle

 

Oct. 18

Non-Fiction Narrative; Workshop Non-Fiction
Readings Due Before Class:

  • Winterson: "Joshua"
  • Handout in Canvas Files: David Foster Wallace's "Shipping Out" non-fiction about a cruise
  • Handout in Canvas Files: Barry Lopez's "The Raven" (not like Poe's)



Assignments due Before Class
:

  • May start in class...Ex. 6.2, do another non-fiction prompt a non-fiction monologue based on a specific part of your life, or a part of the epic story that is your life (you are the hero, or better yet, the anti hero). If you must, you can choose another non-fiction prompt from Metro pp. 58-70. Be sure you've Uploaded to Canvas Discussions.
  • ?? will bring 21 copies of a nonfiction or fiction you most want workshopped (this may be a revised piece, a new piece, something from your journal stash, something from prose exercises in Metro). Upload to Canvas Discussions: Prose Workshop Drafts where it will be graded (MAX length, 20 pages, double-spaced).
  • Sign up for a consultation??

Announcements:

  • Sign up for a consultation as needed for Sep. 30 or Nov. 1.

 

 

Voice of the Narrator vs. Authorial Style:

Day 16 Lecture Notes

POV

 

 

 

 Reply to two Ex. 6's in Canvas Discussions (you will likely be put in a group for replies, or use a past group; Lee may also put people without comments in a group).

 

 

 
 
Oct. 23

Non-Fiction, Fiction, and The One Thing More
Readings Due Before Class:

Assignments Due:

  • Ex. 6.2, do another non-fiction prompt a non-fiction monologue based on a specific part of your life, or a part of the epic story that is your life (you are the hero, or better yet, the anti hero). If you must, you can choose another non-fiction prompt from Metro pp. 58-70. Be sure you've Uploaded to Canvas Discussions.
  • Braden,?? and will bring 20 copies of a nonfiction or fiction you most want workshopped (this may be a revised piece, a new piece, something from your journal stash, something from prose exercises in Metro). Upload to Canvas Discussions: Prose Workshop Drafts where it will be graded (MAX length, 20 pages, double-spaced).
  • Sign up for a consultation

Day 18 Lecture Notes

Cisneros reading Eleven

Jeanette Continued--share a few more of your child memories

And More on metaphors: wikipedia, commenting on "All the world's a stage"--"The Philosophy of Rhetoric (1936) by I. A. Richards describes a metaphor as having two parts: the tenor and the vehicle. The tenor is the subject to which attributes are ascribed. The vehicle is the object whose attributes are borrowed. In the previous example, "the world" is compared to a stage, describing it with the attributes of "the stage"; "the world" is the tenor, and "a stage" is the vehicle; "men and women" is the secondary tenor, and "players" is the secondary vehicle."

Lee wants more tenor in your poems...

 

--Naked: "Ashes" and "Naked

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:
1. Share writing.
2. What is narrative?
3. Share reactions to readings and narrative.
4. Discuss Sedaris.
5. Codrescu on secrets.
3. The place memory--and Annie Dillard; Dillard's maximalism, and metaphorical leaps.
7. Like Lopez, an associative narrative as if I were a stone.
6. Listen to Scott Carrier's lovely and yet simple antelope stories...
7. Listen to Andrei Codrescu's latest commentary
8. Listen to Bailey White's story telling voice
8. Gass and "the better word"
3. My multimedia non-fiction juju story
5. Writing Associatively--letting fragments collide (and avoiding linearity).
4. More on voice and form.
--On Web: an interview with David Sedaris about becoming famous

--Cisneros:  in section 2 read "One Holly Night" (adolescence) and also the story "Woman Hollering Creek" from section 3 (adult years) and "Never Marry a Mexican" and "Los Boxers"

 

 
 
 
Oct. 25

Non-Fiction, Fiction, and The One Thing More (Insights)

Readings Due Before Class:

  • Read and comment on prose drafts from Braden
  • Handout in Canvas Files: be reading Angela Carter's "The Bloody Chamber," a revision of the Blue Beard fairy tale, but with a much more postmodern narrator (a virgin, of course, but one who is excited by the wedding night). In Cancas Files--look for the CarterBloodyChamber.pdf file.  This will be due by Nov. 6th.

 

 

Assignments Due:

--Reply to two Ex. 6.2 monologues or other nonfiction...you choose at random in Canvas Discussions.
--Nick will bring 19 copies of an original prose draft for the week after Halloween, Nov. 6th?  Or we will try to read it during class
--We will have consultations next week, Oct. 30 and Nov. 1--no class--I will be available in my office CB410d most of the day (from 11:30AMish-8:00PMish), but you need to sign up for a time to see me. Come see me with craft, manuscript, and theory questions. Please email me if you know you are going to miss or if you need an appointment, or drop by.  We can talk about grades too.

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

 

Sandra Cisneros - "My Lucy Friend Who Smells Like Corn" and child voices (vs. older uber narrative voices); a quote about community; watch "Eleven"

  • POV—
    • can be omniscient and third person POV; She sees angels, but she isn’t crazy or hated.
    • Third limited POV.  She sees angels, but she never liked it when they appeared.
    • can be first person POV—I see angels, and they are blue.
    • second person POV—You see angels. You see the bus too, and the rain that starts falling.  It gets you wet from the collar.
  • Uber narrator and Voice --
    • Sometimes the Ideal Author (but never the “real” author, because poststructuralist theory tells us the “real” author is dead, or at least not a fixed point from which to interpret a text).
    • the larger voice of the piece, or the more distant but sometimes present voice of the piece, the controlling POV which might tell another’s story, or their own, or both

Lee's Lecture Notes:
1. Dialogue in creative non-fiction!
2. Prose and poetry.  Voice and narrative.  See Lopez, Iglesias, Ai.
3. Prose Vocabulary list.
3. More on Dillard's weaving techniques.
5. Truth vs. truth and one thing more--my non-fiction handout.
10. Poetry Quiz feedback.
11. Narrative and Freytag's Triangle--in media res; one thing more and epiphany; 
12. Floyd--the sound of dialogue (mimesis vs. dialect); what to leave out, what to put in (Dillard)--see Floyd's interview: p. 1 segregation; p. 8 g. liberation; p. 11 segregation, experience, black panthers; the story of his mama making sure everyone had food on p. 1 was tied to the prevention of lynchings on p. 8
6. Are there only 60 plots?  7 plots?  2 plots?  Cecil Adams gives us the straight dope about plots...
13. Character: the angry man who got barred from Hogie Yogie!
14. Research...and black panthers
15. How is Sedaris creating an ordered universe?

Narrative Anxiety, and what to Leave Out
Readings Due Before Class:
--Naked: "Ashes"Non-Fiction and Fiction Techniques

Readings Due Before Class:

-- Metro: p. 58-70

--Wright p. 327-333
--Handout: the 7 basic plots...?

 
Oct. 30

to

Nov. 1

Consultation Days in Lee's office--no class--I will be available in my office CB410d most of the day (from 11:30AMish-8:00PMish). Come see me with craft, manuscript, and theory questions. Please email me if you know you are going to miss or if you need an appointment, or drop by.

  • Outside Reading Reaction 1 or 2 (you need 3 as stated in the Syllabus): 600 writerly words about a "live" reading like those to the right under Lecture Notes. For instance, if you haven't been to a live reading, you could watch Nahid Rachlin reading from Persian Girls There are also audio and videos in the lecture notes above, or some of the links to the right; also Codrescu on NPR; Sedaris on NPR; You could also find your own author by searching through Youtube, or you could watch a play in the UVU Library like the realist Raisin in the Sun, the absurdist Waiting for Godot or Rhinoceros, or something more traditional The Crucible, or something contemporary like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf in the library or on Netflix. Post your reaction to Canvas Discussions: Outside Reading Reaction 1.

 

 

Outside Readings in Non-fiction (though you can find your own authors reading on YouTube):

Possible Outside Readings in creative non-fiction you could react to (followed by some in poetry; then some in fiction):

Exercise 5 (post to canvas, and send to me by midnight): continue by polishing a good draft of your Autobiography Box creative non-fiction story. The length should be as long as it needs to be (based on the narrative pressure, the opening up of scenes or themes, the inclusion of many characters or scene changes), or get it as long as you can shooting for 900 to 3000 words. Based on last class' freewriting, you can either:

1--Write a personal story about each object, or the memories from those objects, weaving them together with a focus on their possible, and perhaps unexpected, connections, and a search for that "one thing more," --or--
2--Write a personal story about one object, or the memories from that object, a possible pivotal moment in your life, or something less significant that still has a "one thing more" dimension to it.

Honors Exercise 6 : from Ex. 5, choose another non-fiction prompt from Metro, or look at Metro pp. 98-111 for a fiction prompt, and flesh--upload to Canvas (and with a view toward getting a workshop draft if it turns out well).

  • 2250 students can do this assignment for extra credit (upload to the Extra Credit section, but please lable your assignment as Honors Ex. 6).


 

 

 
Nov. 6 Lee was sick  
Nov. 8

Workshopping, Nonfiction Insight, Fiction and Story Telling
Readings Due Before Class:


--Read and comment on Nick's story for today's workshop?
--Metro: pp. 98-111 (y in x land; what if; against grain; facts as malleable; drama; 51 prompts)
--Paley p. 367-370
--Handout in Canvas Files: finish Angela Carter's "The Bloody Chamber," a revision of the Blue Beard fairy tale, but with a much more postmodern narrator (a virgin, of course, but one who is excited by the wedding night). In Cancas Files--look for the CarterBloodyChamber.pdf file.
--Web Handout in Canvas Files: Cisneros' "My Lucy Friend Who Smells Like Corn"
--Web Handout on Youtube: watch Cisneros reading "Eleven" and from her new book Have You Seen Marie? (9 minutes of reading, then watch 10 or so minutes of the Q&A)


Assignments due Before Class:

  • In Class--Journal 4: guided fiction journal from Metro 98-111--we'll try some in class . Since we didn't get to this in class, go ahead and upload some kind of brainstorming or freewriting based on a few of the fiction prompts in Metro.
  • Rate peer workshop comments in Canvas. Who deserves an A? Who deserves a D? Who didn't give you any comments, and therefore deserve a 0? Think about detailed annotations vs. summary comments vs. a lot of in-class comments (some people focus on one or the other).
  • Samantha will bring 19 copies of a nonfiction or fiction for workshop.  Be sure you also upload a draft to Canvas Discussions: Prose Workshop Drafts for those who might have missed class

Announcement:

  • If you didn't submit work to Touchstones or Warp n Weave, you will need to send your work to a national magazine. Poets & Writers has a searchable database of literary journals, so pick one, and submit this semester.

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Day 19 Lecture Notes

Winterson and metafiction (Exodus p. 29)

Carver and minimalism ("Popular Mechanics"...)

 

1. Share writing.
2. Discuss two favorite readings thus far--think of form and style and voice.
4. More on voice--experiments with drafts--point of view.
5. Gass and close reading.
6. Postmodern writing--Winterson's list; The Simpsons as pastiche; mixing genres; anti closure; excess
1. Share writing.
2. Discuss two favorite pieces--think of form and style and voice.
6. Share some of your exercises.
8. concretes and scenes...
9. Sedaris and Pacing...where are things too slow?  Too fast?
2. Your questions about creative-nonfiction!
4. Dramatizing scenes and some tips on writing dialogue

Genette and Time

Wes was one of those kids

Which do you like most?
Narration—descriptions of action…
Exposition—trying to argue for a point; philosophizing, or doing thematic work
Description—characters, setting, the land, the city, that give a certain mood to the scene…imagery can be one of the slowest paced items aka Dillard
Dialogue—the slowest paced material—characters talking—but in prose, you can more easily avoid giving backstory/exposition (than, say, in plays)

Cisneros—strands of truth from multiple people she knows
Texas live
She knows How he talks: The envy…father’s English was never good…how you say…what do you think la migra said then…thanks to God…now you see.  I no lie…father was shaking…you changos, for you I serving this country, son of a mother…get out a…make me sick
Mother: started talking her English English, naselly

 
Nov. 13

Fiction and Pacing, Postmodernism, and Workshopping
Readings Due Before Class:

  • Read and comment on Samantha's prose/creative nonfiction piece. Carefully read and comment on the workshop story(s) we received last time focusing on craft issues (critique, interpret, give advice, praise technical issues based on the Prose Vocabulary sheet and other things we have started to talk about); write down as many detailed reactions or bits of advice as you can, and be ready to talk about these reactions in class.  If you missed the last class, be sure to get on Canvas via UVLink, open the Non-Fiction discussion, and print the drafts you don't have.
  • Metro: Grace Paley's story "A Conversation with my Father" p. 367+ (in case you missed it)
  • On Web: Barthelme's "Capitalism" at http://www.jessamyn.com/barth/capitalism.html
  • An essay on postmodernism - http://www.colorado.edu/English/courses/ENGL2012Klages/pomo.html
  • Handout: Lee's Pomo Laundry List
  • Browse over this hypertext fiction...???

 

Assignments due Before Class:

  • Reading Reaction 4: Winterson and Plath, 600 words with textual evidence--quotes--to illustrate interesting writerly points you want to make about the texts...
  • Blakely, Samantha, Jaryn, Abigail will bring 19 copies of a nonfiction for workshop. Be sure you also upload a draft to Canvas Discussions: Prose Workshop Drafts for those who might have missed class.
  • Revision of poem from Workshop 1 due to Canvas Assignments.
  • Exercise 7: after trying a few ideas from the fiction prompts from Metro pp. 98-111, pick one and start writing a fiction story (you can write what you know, but mix it up--put your mother in Mexico, or put your sister on Mars); you might find that the prompt you start with doesn't lead you anywhere, so pick another one and write. I also said in class that you could do a monologue like Cisneros' Lucy story for a person you know, or a famous person you don't know, or someone in the news. Think about character at least as much as plot (since plot is often very predictable no matter what twists you use--Lee says the way toward "making it new" comes via well fleshed characters and narrative voices). You can work on a flash fiction (500 words), a sudden fiction (1500 words), or a traditional short story (3000-6000 words). Your story will likely not be finished, and that's ok. Upload to Canvas Discussions.

 

Day 20 Lecture Notes

Coleridge's suspension of disbelief with nonfiction or fiction using realism stylistics vs. modernism and postmodernism which are kind of based on Nietzsche's concept that God is Dead (Modernists like TS Elliot lament this chaotic life, but Postmodernists like Barthelme play in the chaos)...

Poetry also prevents us from suspending our disbelief because it calls attention to style...

G. Stein's blissy Tender ButtonsLee's Lecture Notes:
2. Cisneros: magical realism and postmodernism--Short Circuit
3. Time/Order in stories--narrative time (the order of events on the page) vs. story time (chronological story the one might summarize off the page), and the complex surprise of playing with linearity and delay.
4. A note on the final "exam"...your book project--see the sample I bring to class.
5. Review workshopping.
7. Authorial Intention and the biographical fallacy
7. Postmodernism in terms of Romanticism (Keats) vs. Modernism vs. Confessionalism (Lee's ism lecture), TS Eliot's modernist"Prufrock"  

Fiction, Postmodernism, and Dialogue
Readings Due Before Class:

--Metro: Paley p. 367-370 (if you haven't read it already)

--An essay on postmodernism - http://www.colorado.edu/English/courses/ENGL2012Klages/pomo.html

--Browse over this hypertext fiction on the web:

 

Assignments due Before Class:
1.
Outside reading reaction 1 due (600 words; 30 pts): a writerly reaction to a live reading or video that shows live readings (there are also videos on poets in the Library like Voices and Visions videos--in our library--on various poets are available, for instance; also Codrescu on NPR; Sedaris too--other than Santaland Diaries); you can post this to Canvas.
2. Ex. 8 pick another fiction prompt from Metro pp. 98-111, and start writing (but this time you might want to play more with time--order, frequency, duration--see Genette)

Reading Reaction 5: 600 writerly words about another aspect of Winterson's novel you haven't discussed before. What do you learn about writing from her exposition, description, dialogue, narration and imagery? What do you learn about voice from her? About Freytag's triangle? About Characterization? Be sure to use textual evidence to back up what you're saying. Upload to Canvas Discussions.

Nov. 15

Workshopping Fiction, and Dialogue
Readings Due Before Class:

  • Make sure to read and comment on ?? prose/nonfiction story for workshop. Readers!  Carefully read and comment on the workshop story(s) we received last time focusing on craft issues (critique, interpret, give advice, praise technical issues based on the Prose Vocabulary sheet and other things we have started to talk about); write down as many detailed reactions or bits of advice as you can, and be ready to talk about these reactions in class.  If you missed the last class, be sure to get on Canvas via UVLink, open the Non-Fiction discussion, and print the drafts you don't have..
  • Be reading Letts' August: Osage County
  • Metro: pp. 129-143, 118-129 (playing with time; order, frequency, duration)
  • Handout (on web): Annie Dillard's famous flash nonfiction, "Living Like Weasels"
  • Handout: workshopping (review)
  • Metro: O'Brien's "How to Tell a True War Story" p. 350+
  • Be reading Letts' August: Osage County
  • Handout: character
  • Formatting Plays

Assignments due Before Class:

  • Reply to 2 Plath/Winterson RR4's in Canvas.
  • Read and briefly comment on two peer Ex. 7's fiction (you can choose two peers to respond to).
  • Ex. 8 for everyone: 20 Character Questions! See Metro pp. 129-133. Answer these questions about characters (or people) in one of your creative nonfictions or fiction. You can include yourself if you are a "character" in your nonfiction, for instance (which is how Phillip Lopate tells us to think of ourselves in memoir writing). If you start getting a story or a poem out of any of the questions, certainly pursue that story while it's hot. The goal is to try to make your main characters more 3 dimensional even if the answers to the questions aren't in the story.
  • Honors Exercise 8: another fiction from Metro pp. 98-111
  • Mark 2, McKenna, Stacy will bring 19 copies of a nonfiction for workshop. Be sure you also upload a draft to Canvas Discussions: Prose Workshop Drafts for those who might have missed class.
  • All late work due by Nov. 25!!

 

 

 

 

Nov. 20-25

Thanksgiving Break

All late work due by 25th!!

 

 

Nov. 27

Workshopping Prose, and Playwriting
Readings Due Before Class:


Assignments due Before Class:

  • Mark 1, Claire, Zack will bring 19 copies of a fiction for workshop? Be sure you also upload a draft to Canvas for those who might have missed class.


Lee's Lecture Notes:
1. Share writing.

Workshop, and discuss Cisneros reading her "kid's" story, "Eleven"

  • How is it a kid's story?
  • Why might someone reject it because it's not a kid's story?
  • What do the similes tell us?
  • What is the one thing more of this story? It's not just about a sweater...

Annie Dillard describing something that has no words like the total eclipse she saw in the 70's.

If you don't have characters in conflict, or dasturdly confessions, or strong voices, sometimes you can take a reader through a piece with paradoxes (Jorge Luis Borges suggests paradox is the center of all avant gard fiction) not unlike Dillard's paradox of needing to write about something that is beyond language.

 

Restorative 3 act play structure

A play is where you have characters wanting something very badly, and something makes them want to get it (a catalyst)--but what is the thing keeping them from it? An antagonist? A flaw?

Backstory and Character building in Sister Mary (a gun does go off in the end); in August: Osage County (Barbara and Bill pp. 28-30; Ivy and Violet p. 26; Jean and Jonnha pp. 41-44)

Metro p. 107 Someone has authority over someone else; Someone wants something from someone else

??3. Reading Reaction 7: 300 words due on one of the most recent fiction readings

Exercise 8: drafta piece of prose (a dramatic monologue or a flash "fiction", 500-1500 words) from the point of view of one of the voices you eavesdropped on (should this voice be quite different than your own?  Try it and see how it feels to write from an utterly different persona).  You will need to focus on voice especially, on showing character and even setting via what this persona sees and thinks about; a realism oriented prose piece (fiction) also has some kind of narrative pull.  Click here for an example of Lee eavesdropping and then writing a poem from the POV of one of the speakers (you should be writing a fiction, however).  You can look back at the poems by Ai for more ideas too.
Nov. 29

Workshopping Prose, and Playwriting
Readings Due Before Class:

  • Read and comment on Peer prose/nonfiction works Mark 1, Claire, Zack, Patrick. Check Canvas for drafts!
    --Watch August: Osage County on Canvas Course Media.
    --Be reading Letts' August: Osage County--Metro: pp. 123-137.
    --Metro: Grace Paley's story "A Conversation with my Father" p. 367+
    --Read a biography of Samuel Beckett on-line at: http://www.imagi-nation.com/moonstruck/clsc7.htm
    --Handout: Waiting for Godot (read the first 20 pages or 20 minutes of this famous absurdist play). You can also watch it at on Youtube.
    --Handout: Napoleon Dynamite (a draft without exposition or narration, thus it will only give you the feel of the speech; read the first 10 "pages" or what feels like 10 pages or 10 minutes; or watch it on Amazon if you like)
    --Handout: Playwriting Vocabulary


Assignments due Before Class:

  • For Extra Credit--Reading Reaction 5: 600 writerly words on a piece of non-fiction and fiction or a play (or one of each) that we've read for class (but that you haven't written about yet). What do you notice about exposition, description, dialogue, and narration? What do you learn about Freytag's triangle? What do you learn about characterization? Be sure to use textual evidence to back up what you're saying. Upload to Canvas Discussions.
  • Exercise 9: start a ten minute play or a monologue (from someone you know or interview, or yourself). You can focus by creating two characters and putting them in conflict (one wants something the other blocks, perhaps, or one blocks their own desires, or have one character talk to a silent other, or break the 4th wall and talk to the audience. You can use characters you've already generated, or work with a Metro prompt from previous readings, or a scene you didn't yet write for one of your prose pieces, or other ideas from your journal or class. Post to Canvas Discussions. You'll eventually want to have a 10 minute play (or screen play) based on characters in conflict--that means 10 pages.
  • Mark 2, Jason, and Patrick will bring 19 copies of a fiction for workshop? Be sure you also upload a draft to Canvas for those who might have missed class.
  • You can sign up to meet with me about grades and writing (we will meet in my office, CB410d). You can also set up Canvas Chat, but see me during or after class!!!

 

 

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:
1. Share writing.

Day 21 Lecture Notes

 

--Read and comment on Peer prose pieces? none for today, it seems

 

Dec. 4

Play Writing, and Dialogue, and Character
Readings Due Before Class:

  • Read and comment on Mark 2, Jason, Patrick prose/nonfiction stories--please put extras outside Lee's office, CB410d.
  • Finish Letts' August: Osage County
    --Handout: notes on Dialogue
    --Read and comment on Peer works (check Canvas in case you didn't get drafts
    )??
    --Metro: pp. 165-180 (revision part I)
    --Metro: pp. 181-193 (revision part II)
    --Metro pp. 99-109; 
    --Shakespeare "Hamlet" excerpt Metro p. 391-396
    --?? has a fiction, play, or screenplay (or fiction or non-fiction) for us to workshop (and will bring 18 copies?  Be sure you also upload a draft to Canvas for those who might have missed class.
    Read "Iphegenia in Orem" a monologue by Neil LaButte in Canvas Files

Assignments due Before Class:

  • You can sign up to meet with me about grades and writing (we will meet in my office, CB410d). You can also set up Canvas Chat, but see me during or after class!!!

 

Announcements:

  • Sign up for a consultation as needed
  • Complete a course evaluation!!!

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Day 22 Lecture Notes

 

Links to plays:

 

Realism vs. Non-realism:

  • Realism--the main form of the novel in the 1800's, still practiced today
    • Aristotle's Mimesis--holding a mirror up to reality
    • John Gardner's "Vivid and Continuous Dream"--the reader willingly suspends their disbelief (Coleridge) that they are reading black scratches on a page let alone in some writer's world
    • Sci fi is often realism oriented
    • Realism often follows Freytag's Triangle (which of course is not real, but realISM).
  • Poetry is not usually doing realism because metaphors and sound play can take us out of the "Vivid and Continuous dream"
  • The fragmentation of the self with the advent of Freud and World War I is followed by Modernism (Mrs. Dalloway) and Cubism (Picaso)--ways to "make it new" included flattening POV and time
  • Postmodernism or what Berube calls 30% more Modernism--Krage says the Pomos revel in the chaos (whereas the Modernists bemoan it);
    • Donald Barthelme (the Woody Allen of literature) uses short circuits and parody
  • Pomo Laundry List useful for an overview of some key Pomo fiction strategies for making it new

August: Osage County pp. 47+ (Bill and Barbara); pp. 49 scene 4 revelation (Barbara falls, Jonnha catches her), and Violet's strange aria (the highest point of this Act; then Act II starts at a much lower energy level; pp. 61 (Karen talking at Barbara); pp. 63 (more with Ivy and Violet, and men)

Monologues and Anna Devere Smith inhabiting the Other--Smith doing a rodeo rider "Toughness"

Godot part 1 (movie)

--Handout: Lee's Theme and Pitch notes from Naked Playwriting

1. Discuss some revision ideas.
3. Cisneros reading Eleven (video)...and Caramelo: how she created the father character (amalgaming "real" details from a variety of fathers)
4. Your Eavesdroppings and dramatic monologues (see my sample); writing other voices; crafting vs. taking dictation...
4. What is fiction that isn't non-fiction?
5. Emma Lou...
6. Power and conflict...
6. A note on the final "exam"...your book project.
12. A Rose for Emily
3. Fashioning prose out of your eavesdroppings...
8. Story excerpt by Lee based on eavesdroppings.
7. Lee's eavesdroppings...

Lee's Lecture Notes:
1. Discuss character and dialogue and pacing and scene.
2. Tension...what is at stake in your play?
3. More on everyday evil and LaButte...
4. Beckett and writing about nothing.
3. Cisneros' "Eleven" as another example of monologue.
2. Commenting on plays--character, dialogue, pacing, conflict (see in-class samples).

3.. Exercise 10: two 10 minute play or screenplay pitches posted to Canvas (you are likely to find something good in your journal, or in a previous exercise)

--Handout: See the web for Playwriting format: http://www.vcu.edu/artweb/playwriting/formatpage.html ??Read the Letts play, then 600 writerly words about the play --email it to me

Dec. 6

Work Day for Lee's students. Lee in her office working and talking to students CB 410d from 12noon until 8 or 9pm

 

Announcements:.

  • You can sign up to meet with me about grades and writing (we will meet in my office, CB410d). You can also set up Canvas Chat, but see me during or after class!!!
  • Be sure to complete the MYUVU course evaluation!!
  • If the prose quiz has been entered, conplete it!

NO PROSE QUIZ THIS SEMESTER!

 


 

Day 23 Lecture Notes

August p. 75: subtext, on the nose, defense mechanisms, and character differences

Metro p. 129: character questions to help you flesh any of your characters more (which is a common problem with early drafts)

--Mel Gibson's Hamlet part 1, part 2, part 3...to be or not

--Kenneth Braunaugh's Hamlet Act 3 (to be); Act 4

--Durang: "Sister Mary"

--?Handout (hard copy): "What's at Stake" and other revision ideas from What If

--Handout: some tips on writing dialogue

--Handout: Lee's Structure notes from Naked Playwriting

Lee's Lecture Notes:
1. "True" war stories...
7. Mimesis, Freytags, POV...
8. What is the climax of Woman Hollering Creek?
9. Kid voices and the problem of complexity
10. Flash fiction vs. vignette/prose poem
11. 3rd limited/omniscient and uber narrators
4. Concrete details--showing (concretes/dramatizing) vs. telling (exposition/explanation)
2. Monologues, voice, and character 
3. Lee will be available for advice, etc.
4. A note on the final "exam"...your book project.
6. A mini lecture on Genette's ideas about time
7. A Genette style map of One Hundred Years of Solitude
3. Cisneros:  Mexican Feminism starting with Frida Kahlo--her life--her work (attacking sexism, machismo, pain via art); Woman Hollering/La Llorona myth; La Llorona, text of pleasure horror movie.

Lee's Lecture Notes:
1. Drama and conflict--going against the grain.
2. Theater of the Absurd
3. Chekhov--if a gun appears in the first act, it must go off in the third
3. Thinking about LeButte's voices and narrative revelations.
4. What is everyday evil?
5. Writing about where you live...
6. Dynamite Film Clips

Lee's Lecture Notes:
1. More on dialogue--the appearance of The Real or mundane (without being boring).
2. Dramatizing Scenes.
3. Thinking about stage space.
4. See my play drafts and concerns.
5. Are you showing character?  What is the source of tension?

1. Exercise 11: choose the pitch you most want to work on, then do some character sketching either based on Metro's list (p. 131-32 ) or Naked Playwriting's character ideas, and begin writing your 10 minute play (10 pages = 10 minutes of on stage time; focus on one or two characters; focus on one scene; you can focus on being mimetic, or doing realism, or you can be more surreal, absurdist, or even include some magical realism; mainly plays are about characters in deeper, more focused conflict; think of your set, setting, and time; think of your pacing).

Day 24 Lecture Notes

 

True war stories, and postmodernism...

Plays--Absurdist works like Godot and Rhinoceros...

Traditional Realism plays like August: Osage County

 

Revision Portfolio

August: Osage County and character--Violet vs her daughter Barbara

Absurdist plays like Godot and Rhinoceros

 

Revision Portfolio--turn in 2 of the pieces you've worked on this semester with some brave revisions. It's easiest to show off your bravery if you turn in workshopped pieces that needed work, and then you do the work they need, or you take some risks with your revision (but always keep the original with a different file name just in case the revision doesn't work out).

Look at Iphegenia's climaxes...creepy! O'Henry snaps, too.

Watch some of August: Osage County--the climax of the dinner scene (a high point of the conflict or 2nd act freytag's triangle); the fish dinner scene; another part of the main dinner scene--vegetarian; the part of the dinner scene when the youngest daughter introduces her fiance

  • pacing--each person usually delivers quick snaps and quips--no soliloquys (or only short ones)
  • the characters talk over each other
  • the characters misunderstand each other
  • the characters hear only what they want to hear
  • characters want things, but Violet won't let anyone have anything (and Barbara is much like Violet that way)
  • exposition or back story are more acceptable because the characters haven't seen each other in years
  • when one character says something, it tells us about him and the characters around him and a little backstory all at once--very efficient

Watch some of Vagina Monologues--political theater--fast and funny and sad and surprising: part 1;

Revisions: were you brave in your revisions, or not?

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:
1. Workshopping plays.
2. Commenting on plays--character, dialogue, pacing, conflict (see in-class samples).
3. Final Book--a creative juju fetish book of your three best works this semester.

Lee's Lecture Notes:
1. Workshopping plays.
3. Your Grade Justification Letter: what grade should you be getting in the class based on writing ability, revising ability, workshopping comments, readings and reactions completed on time, attendance, improvement, and overall commitment?

Consultations (no class--work on your fiction or play exercises or workshop pieces): I will be available in my office LA 114B, but you'll need to sign up on the pink sheet--come see me with craft, manuscript, workshop, and theory questions. If you come after 5pm, enter through LA 111. If LA 111 is locked, call my office 801-863-8785.

Dec. 8

Fri.

Reading Day--Assignments! No class, of course, but Lee may have consultations in CB410d from 2:15-6ish.

Assignments due to Canvas

  • Reading Reaction 6 due by 11:59pm: 600 writerly words about August: Osage County in Canvas Discussions. You will have better tension if you compare/contrast to "Iphegenia in Orem" (in Canvas Files) or to Marre's monologue, but the main focus needs to be on August: Osage County. What do you learn about character development? Pacing? Dialogue? Realism? The avoidance of clunky exposition/backstory? The three act restorative structure? Or maybe more absurdist themes come up for you  like Nietzsche's idea that "God is Dead," and we are existentially and eternally separated and alone?
  • Self-Evaluation letter due to Canvas Assignments--this is a cover letter for your revisions due Dec. 13th: think about your own aesthetics as they have evolved during our course and where you are as a writer and reader based on writing ability, revising ability, workshopping comments, readings and reactions completed on time, attendance, improvement, and overall commitment?
  • Rate your peers' workshop comments (summary comments, annotation comments, and/or oral in-class comments) in Canvas Assignments (only Lee can see your ratings).
  • Optional Extra credit Outside reading reaction #2 due (if you want or need some extra credit): 600 writerly words (watching a play would be a good idea)--videos in the library: Waiting for Godot; A Raisin in the Sun; The Crucible (directed by Hytner); Unkle Vanya; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf; Angels in America Part 1 and 2; One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest; Equus; Rhinoceros (Ionesco--part of a collection of plays American Film Theater Collection 1); The Glass Menagerie; Upload to Canvas Discussions.
  • Any other extra credit outside reading reactions are due at the latest by tonight at 11:59pm to Canvas Assignments.

Announcements:.

  • Be sure to complete the UVLink course evaluation!

 

NO PROSE QUIZ THIS SEMESTER!

 

Prose Quiz to Canvas Assignments Look for it under assignments when I have a chance to put it in.
Dec. 8 event Friday

Touchstones and Warp n Weave launch party with readings etc. at 6pm in UVU Center Stage. They often have readings of original student work, so you could do an extra credit reading reaction 600 word analysis of what you heard and the good, the bad, and the indifferent...

 

 

Dec. 9

Sat.

Lee will have Canvas Chat sessions starting at 4pm to 5pm etc. Email her if you want to send her something to look at so you can discuss it in the Chat part of Canvas.

NO PROSE QUIZ THIS SEMESTER!

 

Finals Week

 

Dec. 11

Lee will have Consultations in CB410d, her office--12noon-6pmish--sign up during the last classes of the semester.

I'M HERE RIGHT NOW!

 

NO PROSE QUIZ THIS SEMESTER!


 
Dec. 13

Assignment due By 11:59pm:

  • Final Revision Portfolio of ONE PROSE PIECE SINCE YOU ALREADY TURNED IN A POETRY REVISION EARLIER. This should be something you've workshopped (or that I've commented on) so I can really see revision. Due to Canvas Assignments. Be sure to include my purple comments either turned in or scanned and uploaded as PDF's.
  • Self-Evaluation letter due to Canvas Assignments on the 8th, but Dec. 14th at 11:50pm is the last day to turn anything in--this is a cover letter for your revision portfolio due Dec. 13th: think about your own aesthetics as they have evolved during our course and where you are as a writer and reader based on writing ability, revising ability, workshopping comments, readings and reactions completed on time, attendance, improvement, and overall commitment?

AND be sure you check your email until a month into the next semester or so in case you are missing something, or you have a problem with your grade.

 

Copyright Lee Ann Mortensen 2017

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