3420 Day 5—Flash Fictions due next time
sammy and seth have drafts for workshop!
Who will bring drafts for workshop?
Story Elements

Story Structure

Vocab du Jour:



Lee's Lecture Notes Day 5: T


  1. Introduce Brown (each story guided by a love cliché or metaphor; in the interview Mudede says "Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett are Brown's ancestors. And so is Gertrude Stein . . ."; I would also suggest Donald Barthelme is an ancestor...)
  2. Bausch's 10 commandments (p. 25--you could critique work with political diatribes?), quotes (Faulkner's not "just charming things") etc. to help you make comments.
  3. Tensions and endings in "The Watch" (surprise? possibility?) vs. "Mexico" (fatigue?) vs. "The Dark House" (locations are uncertain, but not outcome?) vs. "The Tumblers" (revisionist history with Hitler and Eva Braun--"the Jewish ballet")--and how do you write a story where everyone knows the ending aka yet another holocaust story?
  4. The Watch and POV: 3rd limited (4 characters?),  weaving together, commenting on each other's sanity or lack thereof--vs. 3rd Omniscient; the Fantastic of Buzbee's fantasy world (a male and female fantasy)




Old Notes:

Narrative Structures: used all the time in crime stories, survivor stories...before and after vs. in media res--Beyond 9/11: Portraits of Resilience; Alive Day Memories: part 1;

banned books make kids read classics...

Is it character based? Is it plot based? Is it minimalist or maximalist? Does it combine these?

Can you overwrite a story? Are unreliable narrators ok? And writing about war, Iraq, in memoir and fiction on NPR Books from Sept. 11, 2012

2. Thinking about genres to learn more about fiction--What genre do you read or watch most (what is the "real" world to you)?  What elements does your genre require (what are the codes, and how can you make them fresh)?
3. More Minimalism and maximalism, and Doctorow's ideas about Film and exposition (from WW).

4. Gathering Sensory Details

3. Story #2 (What If Sunday "Emotional Triggers" 550 words, a flash fiction length); Sundays (lee's journal draft); if someone asks you to write a story titled "Sunday," are you really going to just write about your own, possibly mundane, Sunday?  Are you going to write something that has nothing to do with Sunday?  Also see the other What If prompts in the handout for more ideas.

2. More on the senses and prose writing (speed vs. description; scale of abstraction; figuration; exposition; dramatizing scenes; voice).
5. Texts of Pleasure and Bliss  see genres on our vocabulary sheet, or go to my list of Barthes' ideas.
8. Can we talk about CONFLICT?
12. Can we talk about language?  And W. Gass' "the better word, the better word, the better word"

??--Handout (hard copy--some are outside my office): from What If: "Ways to Start a Story" etc.

Flash Fiction; Flash Fiction Online; Flashfiction.net (with prompts, advice);

Wallace: "Everything is Green" commentary...how do others talk about him?

Exercise #3: analyzing your story for it's mix of exposition, narration, description, and dramatized scenes (highlight each in a different color, then email to me)...I'll try to get a sample available soon...

Exercise #4: story 2 550 word story titled a day of the week...

--journaling in class: ex 5 a deep sensory description of something or someone that might not be fully described in your story--how can this add to (or detract from) the story?

Ex. 6 backstory for a central character you're working on (see Metro)