3450 Course Calendar

Intermediate Creative Non-Fiction Writing 
by Lee Ann Mortensen, Professor at Utah Valley University

 

Updated 4/18/18 4:19 PM - subject to change, so don't print a lot at once if you need printouts

  M W M W M W M W M F M
January 8 10 15 17 22 24 29 31      
February 5 7 12 14 19 21 26 28      
March 5 7 12 14 19 21 26 28      
April 2 4 9 11 16 18 23 25   27 30
May

1Tues

2 3Thurs

4Fri

 

         

 

Due Dates

Discussions, Readings, & Exercises--subject to change

Lecture Notes Links
Jan. 8

Course Introduction, and The Imposibility of Creative Non-Fiction

Readings Due Before Class:

  • Purchase Texts and materials!
    • Best American Essays 2013 (good stories, and rather minimalist)
    • To Show and To Tell by Philip Lopate
    • Naked by David Sedaris (required for all writers)
    • El Deafo by Cece Bell (a graphic memoir)
    • Why be Happy When You Could be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson (a nonfiction deconstruction and memoir dealing with her first book, Oranges Aren't the Only Fruit, an "autobiographical novel" that simplified her relationship with her mother, at least a bit)
  • Read the Syllabus

 

Think about Lopate's idea of being reflective in your creative nonfiction essays, and the need to create a persona that tells your "real" stories...

Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize winner in Literature, discusses how she uses her real life and her imagination to show the inner life of her parents whom she did not really know (like the rest of us). Truth vs. truth.

My own recreated diologue with my mother, and why a lot of it won't work as is (which is why creative nonfiction is not an exact recreation of your life

Andrei Codrescu, a Romanian American who lived under the Soviets, is a frequent creative nonfiction writer on NPR who doesn't always write memoir or personal essays. He comments on the absurdity of small parts of our culture.

 

Jan. 10

Course Introduction, and The Imposibility of Creative Non-Fiction

Readings Due Before Class:

  • Purchase Texts and materials!
  • Read the Syllabus
  • Get used to using this Web Calendar to look up daily readings and assignment details and deadlines, and lecture notes in the gray column. We use Canvas to turn in your work, get grades, and get announcements.
  • Best 2013: read Strayed's Introduction (there is a copy of this in Canvas Files in case you don't have the book yet).

 

Assignments due before class:

  • Be a committed writer!
  • Email me your most used Email account: mortenle@uvu.edu. My email is the best way to ask me questions about assignments, or let me know if there are mistakes I need to correct, or if you need to set up an appointment (which usually helps students do better in the class).
 

Lecture Notes Day 1

Pleasure and Bliss--Barthes

 

Strayed: the last line of an essay, unwritten, is and nothing was ever the same again. What does this mean to you?

 

What creative non-fiction documentary/film will you watch to celebrate MLK Day? What does watching these show you about telling stories?

Or try these less celebratory films:

 

Jan. 15 MLK Day--no class  

Jan.
17

The Aesthetics of Non-Fiction vs. Fiction, vs. Prose; and the need for safety; Character

Readings Due Before Class:

  • Lopate: introduction; The State of Nonfiction Today; Facts Have Implications, or Is Nonfiction Really Fiction?
  • Lopate: "Reflection and Retrospection"
  • Best 2013: "Free Rent at the Totalitarian Hotel"
  • Handout Online: Annie Dillard's "Total Eclipse" (she uses a lot of her reflective voice)
  • Handout (Online): Skim over my Prose Vocabulary sheet
  • Watch a memoir-oriented film or documentary or a creative nonfiction author reading on Youtube (see links from last time's lecture notes, or look up one of our texts' authors in Youtube.com)


Assignments due before class
:

  • Journal 1: (journaling is something you should do at least 3 times a week, or more)--observation/description/reflection of or on an "interesting" moment or event you've experienced or heard of in your family or from friends; or a bit of language/dialogue you say, hear, or see that you'd like to use in a larger story; or some prose descriptions of self/people/objects/settings around you; or some deep philosophical issues you are intensely engaged with (things you could bring into your non-fiction writing).  This is something you will only turn in once in a while when it appears in Canvas, and you must be able to show me evidence for the Midterm and Final. I will give you some exercises during class that might go into your journal if they don't end up as early draft attempts due to Canvas Assignments. You can also use Lopate for some exercise ideas, or Google "creative non-fiction exercises" (though these might be for K-12).
  • Email me from your most used email.


Announcements:

  • FYI--some of today's readings may be available in Canvas Files.
  • Don't forget to email me.

Day 2 Lecture Notes

Roland Barthes Writerly Concept

Style

 

Strayed's Writerly Concepts:

  • she wanted to capture her mother's illness, but she ended up writing an essay instead...what does this mean to you?
  • essay writing isn't just a string of facts (not usually any kind of essay writing except, perhaps, a summary or an informative essay)

 

Lopate's Writerly Concepts thus far:

  • is something at stake in your memoir or creative nonfiction? almost every author says this is important in all narrative (so if your "real" story doesn't have enough at stake, make sure you write it with something at stake--symbolism; the future, or a place you can't know about but you can speculate about
  • memory and reflection are both needed when writing a story from your past

Prepare for reading reaction

 

More on fiction and nonfiction, and reflectiveness...

  • the memory story teller, and the reflective thematic analyzer

 

 

Voice

POV

??Handout Online: Ask Mormon Girl (Joanna Brook's blog)--look at one of the top posts like "What's the Right Way to Kiss a Mormon Woman?"


Jan. 22

The So-called "Basics"? Truth and Fiction

Readings Due Before Class:

  • Lopate: "On the Necessity of Turning Oneself into a Character"
  • Lopate: "Modesty and Assertion" ch. 9; and "Exploration or Argument?" ch. 11
  • Best 2013: "Night"
  • Handout online: Strayed: "The Painful, Personal Toll Lung Cancer has Taken on My Life"--kind of boring, more a sales pitch
  • Sedaris: Naked through "A Plague of Tics"
  • Handout on NPR.org: Bailey White's minimalist story we started in class last time--"The Second Hand or The Roach"

Assignments due before class:

  • Reading Reaction 1: A 600 word "writerly" reaction to one or two of the readings we've read by now (and which bit of writerly "advice" from Lopate or Strayed seems applicable to one or two of the essays we've read, and why?; or why do you like or hate the essay or certain parts, or find certain moves in the essay to not work?; what do you think specific parts of it teach you about writing non-fiction? what stylistic choices in the essay strike you and why?  are you a language hag or a plot hag? A memory hag or a reflection hag?).  Be sure to include some specific textual evidence (short quotes with analysis of a writerly concept) to illustrate what you are trying to say. Click here for a sample reaction (scroll down to the second reaction). Upload this to Canvas Discussions.
  • Heads up for Ex. 1 due next time: we may start freewriting part 1 today in class...

 

Announcements:

  • Don't forget to collect observations, characters, dialogue etc. in your writerly journals.
 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Day 3 Lecture Notes

Lopate's Writerly Concepts:

Your writerly persona.

Characterization? Others...

Turning others into characters

 

More on reflection!

 

 

Revising Ex. 1

Reflection and Retrospection and memory

Creating Scenes

 


Jan. 24

Formal Elements: Voices

Readings Due Before Class:

  • Lopate: The Made-Up Self: On the Difficulty of Turning One's Self into a Character
  • Best 2013: "Sometimes a Romantic Notion" and "Highway of Lost Girls"
  • Handout online: we read the first part of this sudden story "Girl" by Jamaica Kincaide in class...the uber narrator doesn't really ever even speak, yet she is the older, reflective narrator who structures everything so we hate the mother, but then also sympathize with the mother and the girl...

.

Assignments due before class:

  • Reply to two RR 1's in Canvas discussions (these can be short but specific, thoughtful 50-100 word replies to your peers' reactions to the readings). What do you agree with or disagree with in their reactions?  What thoughts did you have that were different? What new idea did they give you about writing or analyzing or synthesizing? Do you agree, or get additional ideas from, your peer? No ad hominem attacks, please.
  • Exercise 1 due 11:59pm by posting to Canvas Assignments: turn yourself into a character in order to write a pivotal moment story. Upload to Canvas Assignments.
    • Part 1--We start free-writing in class (if time) based on the final part of this assignment--a 1200 word pivotal moment essay. But start with the following:
      • quirks that set us apart—I shouldn’t present myself as nice or as average
      • patterns about myself
      • things about me that surprise
      • dramatize ourselves—what conflicts do I have within and with others or the world or nature or church (or whatever isn’t a too sacred cow for me)?
      • what are my internal contradictions (dramatic subtext)?
 

Announcements:

  • Are you collecting good observations, quotes, story ideas, character descriptions etc. in your Journals?

.

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Day 4 Lecture Notes

question--how to tell a sad story--don't tell us it's sad

 

Journal 2 reflection freewriting for pivotal moment--start or finish in class...this should roll into Ex. 1 part 1...?

 

Look at Kincaide's "Girl"--it's got dialogue from the mother and the daughter she's teaching, but the uber narrator is controlling how we think about it all between the lines...

 

In-class Writing: start brainstorming

 

Jan. 29

Voices and other Elements

Readings Due Before Class:

  • Lopate: "The Personal Essay in the Age of Facebook"
  • Best 2013: "Keeper of the Flame"
  • Sedaris: "Get Your Ya Ya's Out"
  • Handout: Workshopping Prose
  • Buy and start reading Touchstones Spring or Fall 2017 (may be $7 in CB407, or cheaper for older ones if you prefer)



Assignments due before class:

  • Ex. 1 Part 2--Start by writing at least 900 words (adding more each time your revise until you have 1200 words) of your pivotal moment story where you are working with yourself as a character
    • be sure you work with memory and reflection, the essential two parts to any creative nonfiction.
      • memory is where you write down what happened perhaps from the POV of that moment
      • reflection is where you start to comment or thematize about what happened from your POV now.
    • A Pivotal Moment story is a story about some change you have gone through, often based on a certain moment or event, but you could be looser than that to push complexity.
    • Using the persona you came up with in Part 1 of this assignment, write a pivotal moment personal essay based on some key moment in your life where you had the opportunity to change, learn, become cynical, become an adult etc.  Pivotal moments are written about a lot because they often involve conflict and change, two key aspects of writing prose.
    • Eventually write at least 900+ words, then upload to Canvas, though a longer piece would likely be better (20 double-spaced pages are the max for workshops).  How do you lengthen a story?  You can include more characters, scenes, time, but you can also do more work with the two essential POV's: the memory story teller, and the reflective thematic analyzer who looks back on the memory story teller with a critical eye.
    • You can upload each version to Canvas as you go, though you should put your best draft under Canvas Ex. 1 Part 2 Pivotal Moment Story under Canvas Discussions so you can start getting some peer feedback.
  •  
 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Lecture Notes Day 5

Some Sedaris...

Prepare for blog--in class writing? What kinds of

Look at blogs during class...favorites?

  • Dan Savage with research (Ex. 3)
  • Lindy West (witch hunt, the witches are hunding you)
  • Jenny Lawson...

 

?Journal 2: reflection freewriting for your pivotal moment story, or some other creative nonfiction piece you are thinking of writing like Ex. 2. Upload to Canvas discussions.

Jan. 31

Electronic Genres, and Workshopping

Readings Due Before Class:

 

Assignments due before class:

  • Reply to Ex. 1 Part 2 pivotal moment drafts--choose 2 peers to reply to--No Trolls! These should be replies to the longer drafts uploaded to Canvas Discussions (a good reply might focus on something technical like the many elements Lopate has been discussing--reflection, memory, turning ourselves into characters).
  • Exercise 2: a good blog--more personal--for an Online magazine like Slate or Jezebel or College Humor (Huffpo has a lot of blogs; or your choice of blog, but something that has more polish and the personal and potential audience than F@# Rag--this mag from the 70's was actually important, however). We listened to Andre Codrescu and Bailey White on NPR a few weeks ago, so he could be a topic inspiration. Also see the readings above. You can write another personal piece that observes something odd about humans in this world including yourself. You can write a personal movie or book review, something that has a lot of your own self in it and helps you comment on the human condition. You can write vignettes about your childhood. You can write personal commentary on what politics or life or cars or mountains mean to you. Whatever you write, be sure you are thinking within the box of creative nonfiction--concrete details (and metaphors) and narrative are often involved. You can write to inform people, but it must have personal and aesthetic touches. Do NOT write a scholarly essay! Be sure you use Lopate's idea of the two perspective approach of memory in the moment, and reflection on your past self, or the past situation. Post this to Canvas Discussions.
  • ??who will bring ?? copies of a creative nonfiction draft for workshop? Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here.

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Day 6 Lecture Notes

 

 

Choose a prompt in your journal, an image, a story, a bit of dialogue, something that might need research, then start writing and researching

Ex. 3 prep...

Choose 2 documentaries to study, or two popular culture items to study...Ex. 3 will have some research...what do these shows do for you? For culture?

  • House of Cards (American version; first season has a lot of character; plot pull)
  • Your Suggestions

 

 

 

Later--Handout: Outside Reading Reaction Assignment (just read it)--focus on Documentaries which can be personal or based on another person, or based on a specific topic or controversy

Feb. 5

Realism, Workshopping, and Publishing--get workshop pieces!

Readings Due Before Class:

  • Sedaris: "The Women's Open"
  • Best 2013: "Breeds of America"
  • Lopate: "Research and Writing" ch. 13
  • Finish Touchstones Spring 2017 or Fall 2017 (the latest issue can be purchased in the English Dept.; you can also read older issues).
  • Handout: Lee's Comment Guide
  • Handout: Workshopping


Assignments due before class
:

  • Reply to your group's Ex. 2 in Canvas Discussions. Why do you like it? What works? What problems does it still have? Where do you want more? Less? What would you do with the draft if it were yours? Refer to elements from the workshop sheet, or from our discussions, or from Lopate's ideas to help you focus your comments. Choose 2 people to respond to who you didn't respond to last time.
  • Exercise 3: A short, personal non-fiction that needs some research. Choose a prompt or vignette in your journal, an image, a story, a bit of dialogue, something that needs or could use research, then start writing and researching (or researching then writing). Do not write an academic essay! Be sure you are thinking of your overall persona/voice, your reflective voice, and even your memory voice, and make the research “personal,” but also think of the larger culture.  See some of the problems with Best 2013 “Keeper of the Flame,” and with Jenny Lawson’s Bloggess piece “I Can’t” from Feb. 14, 2016, or in Touchstones Spring 17 "Heroin Addiction..."
  • This is by invitation--Ashley, Maia, Rebecca, Kevin, Martha, will bring 14 copies of a workshop story (20 pages, double-spaced MAX)? Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here. Lee will put out a few extra hard copies for Rebecca and Martha. Come to CB410d after 5pm today. We did Ashley in class.
 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Day 7 Lecture Notes

Touchstones

texts of bliss

 

Touchstones--writing creatively with some research--from sp 17, the heroin essay

Feb. 7

WORKSHOPPING and Style

Readings Due Before Class:

  • Peer stories: read and comment on Maia, Rebecca, ( next time kevin, Martha) stories in a writerly fashion. Carefully, thoughtfully read and write comments on their drafts based on their craft choices working or seemingly not working. Craft issues include as much as you can like pacing, dialogue, fleshing of characters, voice, POV, time shifts, description, narration, exposition, maximalist vs. minimalist style, cliches that get in the way etc. (critique, interpret, give advice, praise--see the Workshopping page for more ideas, or use advice ideas from Letters to a Fiction Writer); use some of language about texts of bliss; write down as many detailed reactions as you can, and be ready to talk about, and defend, these reactions in class. Lee may collect your comments so she can check them off (if you miss a class, you need to pick up manuscripts in advance outside my office CB410d or on Canvas Discussions Workshop Drafts Here! Readers please write comments ON the page and be ready to discuss those comments during class--don't hand them back until we are done with the oral workshop in class).
  • Best 2013: bring it
  • Touchstones: Bring it

 

Assignments due before class:

  • Due Fri--Reading Reaction 2: 600 words for any stories read since the last RR.  "Keeper of the Flame" and "Breeds of America" are both complex stories, but it could be interesting to compare and contrast their craft choices in order to answer: which piece is better? You can use two other pieces to ask this question about. What do you learn about bliss vs. pleasure? What do you learn about violations of expectations? What do you learn about dramatizing scenes? Or pacing? Or narrative voice? Click here for a few good sample reactions.  Upload this to Canvas discussions by 11:59pm. Scan over the reactions and make comments on two next time.
  • Sammy, Blake will bring 14 copies of a workshop story (20 pages, double-spaced MAX)? Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here.
  • Turn in your Touchstones creative nonfiction today!Due before 5pm to touchstones.journal@gmail.com! Submit online: http://www.touchstonesjournal.com/submissions/

 

Announcements

  • ...

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Day 8 Lecture Notes

Workshop!

Touchstones due tonight!!!

Feb. 7 Publication Due Date Touchstones entries due...you need to submit a creative non-fiction, then upload evidence to Canvas Assignments. Touchstones stories Due before 5pm to touchstones.journal@gmail.com! Or search for UVU Touchstones on Facebook. Be sure to follow all the submission guidelines carefully including filling out a cover sheet if they ask you to.

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

Facebook: search warp & weave

They usually do sci fi and fantasy and some speculative work, but some journals of these kinds will also take creative nonfiction having to do with these fictional genres. Your Ex. 3?

 

 
Feb. 12

WORKSHOPPING

Readings Due Before Class:

  • Peer stories: read and comment on Kevin, Martha, Blake, Sammy (Sammy next time) stories in a writerly fashion (use Lopate's writerly ideas to help you make comments on what you see). Carefully, thoughtfully read and write comments on their drafts based on their craft choices working or seemingly not working. Craft issues include as much as you can like pacing, dialogue, fleshing of characters, voice, POV, time shifts, description, narration, exposition, maximalist vs. minimalist style, cliches that get in the way etc. (critique, interpret, give advice, praise--see the Workshopping page for more ideas, or use advice ideas from Letters to a Fiction Writer); use some of language about texts of bliss; write down as many detailed reactions as you can, and be ready to talk about, and defend, these reactions in class. Your peers will grade your commenting ability. Lee may also collect your comments so she can check them off (if you miss a class, you need to pick up manuscripts in advance outside my office CB410d or on Canvas Discussions Workshop Drafts Here! Readers please write comments ON the page and be ready to discuss those comments during class--don't hand them back until we are done with the oral workshop in class).
  • Bring Lopate
  • Bring Touchstones!

Assignments due before class:

  • Reply to two RR 2'sin Canvas discussions (these can be short but specific, thoughtful 50-100 word replies to your peers' reactions). What do you agree with or disagree with in their reactions?  What thoughts did you have that were different? What new idea did they give you about writing and revising?
  • Stacy, Madelyne will bring 14 copies of a workshop story (20 pages, double-spaced MAX)? Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here.

Lee's Lecture Notes:
1. Publishing
?

Lecture Notes Day 9

more on Lopate and the difficulty of reflective thinking...

 

Personal Documentaries; rules for them can help us as writers--rule 1; rule 2; rule 3; rule 4; rule 5...see next class for the rest of the rules

Feb. 14

Love...

ugh...lee was sick  
Feb. 19 No Class--President's Day Holiday  

Feb. 21

 

Workshopping

Readings due Before Class:

  • Peer Stories: bring comments on Sammy, Stacy, Madelyne--if you miss a class, you need to pick up manuscripts in advance outside my office CB410d or on Canvas Discussions Workshop Drafts Here!. Your peers will grade your commenting ability. Lee may also collect your comments so she can check them off.
  • Best 13: "My Father's Women."
  • Sedaris: "The Incomplete Quad"
  • Lopate: "The Uses of Contrarity" (tension in New Criticism) ch. 5
  • Touchstones: bring it

 

Assignments Due Before Class:

  • Journal: Reminder to keep journaling on your own. What do you think your best creative nonfiction needs?  More voice/persona work? More reflective/thematic work? More character work?  More plot work?  More description and/or imagery?  Work on any two of these in your journal (journaling is a weekly activity, so this is just one entry of the three you need for this week). You don't need to upload this one.
  • Samantha, Matt, Adam will bring 14 copies of a workshop story (20 pages, double-spaced MAX)? Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here.

Lee's Lecture Notes

 

Lecture Notes Day 10

Who will bring manuscripts on Wed.?

Ex. 4--Write a story about love that puts into question some key cliche about love...contrarian writing...

Feb. 26

Workshopping, and Postmodern Personal Narrative

Readings:

  • Peer Stories: Samantha, Matt, Adam--bring comments on their stories (if you miss a class, you need to pick up manuscripts in advance outside my office CB410d or on Canvas Discussions Workshop Drafts Here!).
  • Handout: Some Postmodern Laundry Lists.
  • Handout (on web): Postmodernism by Mary Klage
  • Best 13: "Confessions of an Ex-Mormon."
  • Sedaris: "True Detective" (what's the one thing more?)

 

Assignments Due Before Class:

  • Exercise 4: a contrarian essay about Love that puts into question some cliched aspect of Love in America (or in Mexico etc.; see Lopate's ch. 5). Of course, this should not be an academic argument! This should have story at it's core, but also reflection about the ironies and falsehoods and surprises of Love in concrete and imagistic detail. Paradox, doubt, contradition are common contrarian story elements (Lopate Loc. 932). Is Sedaris' essay "An Incomplete Quad" a kind of postmodern love story? Can you think of other stories you've read that are contrarian?
  • Abby, Katelyn, will bring 14 copies of a workshop story (20 pages, double-spaced MAX)? Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here.

 

Announcements:

  • If you miss a workshop day, you are responsible for making comments on the workshop drafts and handing them in to Lee (and she will give them to the authors). If you miss your workshop day, you are responsible for asking to sign up for another day.

 

 

Lecture Notes Day 11

Mouse and El Deafo--graphic memoirs?

Feb. 28

Workshopping, and Postmodernism

Readings:

  • Peer Stories: bring comments on Abby, Katelyn stories (if you miss a class, you need to pick up manuscripts in advance outside my office CB410d or on Canvas Discussions Workshop Drafts Here!).
  • Best 13: "I'm Jumping off the Bridge."
  • Handout /nline: "Afterward" from Barry Lopez
  • Lopez: Intro & "The Wind"
  • Sedaris: "I Like Guys."
  • Handouts: Hassan's pomo list
  • If you miss a workshop day, you are responsible for making comments on the workshop drafts and handing them back to the author who will grade your comments.

Assignments Due Before Class:

  • Workshop 1 Revision: you can start turning in revisions of your first workshop story for the next two weeks. See Canvas Assignments. Include my purple workshop comments with the revision. If you haven't done so, upload your draft to Canvas Assignments Workshop 1 Drafts Here which is where I'll put the first grade, then upload your revision to Workshop 1 Revision which is where I'll put a midterm grade. If you went first in the workshops, you should try to get your revision in early. If you just finished your workshop, you can turn it in in two weeks.
  • Martha, Rebecca will bring 14 copies of a workshop story (20 pages, double-spaced MAX)? Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here.

 

Announcements:

  • FYI Be working on a piece you might want to workshop next (this could be your pomo story, a regional story, or whatever else you want us to comment on)

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

 

Lecture Notes Day 12

 

 

Lopez is more magically real than many nonfiction writers...

 

??In Class Directed Journaling TBA from last week where we chose character questions ??from a 50 question list, and wrote about one of our main characters, pushing to find non-cliched concrete details to help flesh the character. These are often part of the three journals you should be writing each week.

Mar. 5

Workshopping, and Postmodernism

Readings:

  • Peer Stories: Martha, Rebecca--bring comments on their stories (if you miss a class, you need to pick up manuscripts in advance outside my office CB410d or on Canvas Discussions Workshop Drafts Here!).
  • Barry Lopez: and "Desert Notes" "The hot Spring" &"The Raven"
  • Best 13: "Pigeons"
  • Handout: Read the Outside Reading Reaction #1 (just read it--see the 3rd for more info)


Assignments Due Before Class
:

  • Reading Reaction 3 due by 11:59pm: Touchstones or Warp n Weave: 600 words reaction (30 pts) uploaded to Canvas Assignments--what editorial biases did you notice, and what did you think about them?  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.
  • Workshop 1 Revision: you can turn in revisions of your first workshop story for the next weeks. See Canvas Assignments. Include my purple workshop comments with the revision. If you haven't done so, upload your draft to Canvas Assignments Workshop 1 Drafts Here which is where I'll put the first grade, then upload your revision to Workshop 1 Revision which is where I'll put a midterm grade. If you went first in the workshops, you should try to get your revision in early. If you just finished your workshop, you can turn it in in two weeks.
  • Comment on one of your peers exercises that you haven't seen yet (Ex. 2 or 3).
  • Ashley, Sammy will bring 14 copies of a revision of their workshop 1 stories (20 pages, double-spaced MAX). Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here. Upload workshop 2 stories to Workshop 2 Drafts here.

 

Announcements:

  • FYI Be working on a piece you might want to workshop next (this could be your pomo story, a regional story, or whatever else you want us to comment on)
  • ?? first students' workshop 1 revision for Lee is due. Include my workshop comments with the revision.

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

 

Lecture Notes Day 13

Another discussion of WarpnWeave or Touchstones...a lot of my students are in each issue!

 

 

Handout (on web): Barthelme's hard core pomo story "The History of Capitalism"

Exercise 5 due by 11:59. Use 4-5 different highlighters to highlight (digitally or by hand) each type of prose element you are using in your apprentice story or workshop. Purple for exposition, green for narration, yellow for dramatized scenes, blue for description (you can see my board notes here; click here for an example). There is an older What If? assignment handout for this under Canvas Files. Show this to me, turn it in, or post it to Canvas Discussions Ex. 5 (if you want to highlight in Word, you can easily upload that file; if you have a smart phone, you can scan documents to PDF with an App like CamScanner for Android, or Genius Scan for Ios).

??In Class Ex. 6: practice with dialogue

Mar. 7

 

Pomo Fiction: How the Avant-garde Can Teach You Style and Humor

Readings Due Before Class:

--Peer Stories: Ashley, Sammy--bring comments on their stories (if you miss a class, you need to pick up manuscripts in advance outside my office CB410d or on Canvas Discussions Workshop Drafts Here!).
--Lopez: start River Notes...p. 61-86
--Best 13: "I'm Jumping off the Bridge"
--FYI ?? workshop 1 revision for Lee is due. Include my purple workshop comments with the revision.

 

Assignments Due Before Class:

  • Reply to two RR 3's (on Touchstones or Warp n' Weave) in Canvas Discussions. What editorial biases did they find? Did you agree with that, or with their choices of best prose? How or how not? Find two reactions to reply to.
  • Workshop 1 Revision: you can turn in revisions of your first workshop story for the next few days. See Canvas Assignments.. Include my purple workshop comments with the revision. If you haven't done so, upload your draft to Canvas Assignments Workshop 1 Drafts Here which is where I'll put the first grade, then upload your revision to Workshop 1 Revision which is where I'll put a midterm grade. If you went first in the workshops, you should try to get your revision in early. If you just finished your workshop, you can turn it in in two weeks.
  • Blake will bring 14 copies of a workshop story (20 pages, double-spaced MAX)? Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here. Upload workshop 2 stories to Workshop 2 Drafts here.
  • Sign up for a midterm consultation!

 

Announcements:

 

Today's Lecture Notes Day 14

 

 

 

Mar. 12

Pomo Fiction and Exercises

Readings Due Before Class:

--Peer Stories: Blake and those we didn't finish last time--bring comments on their stories (if you miss a class, you need to pick up manuscripts in advance outside my office CB410d or on Canvas Discussions Workshop Drafts Here!).
--Bring Best '13
--Sedaris: "Ashes"

 

Assignments Due Before Class:

  • Workshop 1 Revision: you can start turning in revisions of your first workshop story for the next two weeks. See Canvas Assignments.. Include my purple workshop comments with the revision. If you haven't done so, upload your draft to Canvas Assignments Workshop 1 Drafts Here which is where I'll put the first grade, then upload your revision to Workshop 1 Revision which is where I'll put a midterm grade. If you went first in the workshops, you should try to get your revision in early. ONLY TWO MORE CLASS PERIODS.
  • Stacy, Kevin, Samantha, Madelyne who will bring 14 copies of a workshop story (20 pages, double-spaced MAX)? Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here. Upload workshop 2 stories to Workshop 2 Drafts here.

 

Announcements:

  • FYI Be working on a piece you might want to workshop next (this could be your pomo story, a regional story, or whatever else you want us to comment on)
  • Sign up for a consultation as needed.

Day 15 Lecture Notes

Day 16 Lecture Notes

????--Handout: review the Pomo Laundry List

Possible on-line Creative Nonfiction Readings and Interviews or both for Outside Reading Reactions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise 6: from What If? on dialogue vs indirect discourse (summarized dialogue). This multi-part exercise should give you more ideas on how to work two kinds of dialogue into your creative nonfictions. This is a good time to really think about how little things like dialogue or summary can say so much about a character, or how little things can move the plot forward. See the Handout in Canvas Files from WhatIfdialogueex6.pdf:

  • part 1: turn one of the quotes that use indirect discourse (summarized dialogue) into quoted dialogue. See my example on the first page of the Canvas File handout.
  • part 2:
  • part 3:
  • part 4:
Mar. 14 No Class--Consultations in CB 410d

Assignments Due:

  • Grade your peer's workshop comments 1 (see Canvas Assignments): Please rate each of your classroom peers' 1st half of the semester abilities to write annotations and/or summary comments, or oral comments, on your workshop days.  Rate them 1-10 with 10 being an A, and 6 being a D (you'll have all week to complete this).
  • Be reading El Deafo: first 1/4th; be thinking about your own graphic non-fiction

 

 
Mar. 19-23

Spring Break--no classes! But you can always work on your creative nonfictions!

  • Workshop 1 Revision: you need to turn in your 1st revision Mar. 20th for your first workshop story. See Canvas Assignments.. Include my purple workshop comments with the revision. If you haven't done so, upload your draft to Canvas Assignments Workshop 1 Drafts Here which is where I'll put the first grade, then upload your revision to Workshop 1 Revision which is where I'll put a midterm grade. If you went first in the workshops, you should try to get your revision in early. LAST DAY!
  • Work on Outside Reading Reaction #1 (due by Monday 26th): 600 writerly words about a creative nonfiction reading, play, or performance event you've attended (not a musical). See some Youtube.com readings/interviews (look at both) in the previous lecture notes above. Be sure you use one of our Letter's or Texts of Bliss theory, or any other theory to help you make specific and writerly comments. You can do two extra reactions for extra credit.
  • Exercise 6: from What If? handout in Canvas Filews on dialogue vs indirect discourse (summarized dialogue). This multi-part exercise should give you more ideas on how to work two kinds of dialogue into your creative nonfictions. This is a good time to really think about how little things like dialogue or summary can say so much about a character, or how little things can move the plot forward. See the Handout in Canvas Files from WhatIfdialogueex6.pdf:
    • part 1: For a story we've read for class, highlight the dialogue, then decide what percentage is dialogue in quotes vs. summarized dialogue (indirect discourse).
    • part 2: set up a non-fiction scene in which one character is going on and on talking about X (their grades, or their hair, or their belief in God or their belief in soap operas or crocheting, or whatever you can remember from a conversation that can help you really illustrate a character or show a situation). Summarize the dialogue first.
    • part 3: from part 2, write a dialogue for the complaining character. How do the differences in part 2 and 3 change tone, pacing, and shaping of the dramatized scene?
  • Be reading El Deafo!

 

Announcements:

  • FYI Be working on a piece you might want to workshop next (this could be your pomo story, a regional story, or whatever else you want us to comment on)

 

Possible On-Line Readings and Interviews (view both) for Outside Reading Reactions and/or extra credit Outside Reading Reactions (these are people who write prose or that genre between fiction and creative non-fiction):

 

Rick Bass Community of Glaciers (part 1; part 2); On The Fly interview

Junot Diaz's acclaimed novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao part 3 (:52); part 4; news interview; on his writing process with Oscar Wao;

Pam Houston reading from The Rumpus (and excerpts); ASU interview

--David Foster Wallace: reads from "Shipping Out," his nonfiction about going on a cruise with huge amounts of irony. Here is the draft (notice the footnotes are not throwaway details...or are they?. Here is someone analyzing "Shipping Out." The Youtube analyzer wonders if the story is more funny or more sad...?

 

Student Suggestion of fiction

--Annie Proulx on Wyoming and "Brokeback Mountain"; reading at Dunedin Public Library;

--David Foster Wallace reading fiction from Brief Interviews...: and dialogue "Yet Another Example..."; BI #51 and obsessive characters; "A Radically Condensed History of Postindustrial Life" (obviously a flash fiction with surreal detachment); Charlie Rose interview (part 1; part 2; part 3; part 4)

Mar. 26

Mixing Genres and Pomo Fiction and Creative Non-fiction

Readings Due Before Class:

--Peer Stories: Kevin, Samantha, Stacy--bring comments on their stories (if you miss a class, you need to pick up manuscripts in advance outside my office CB410d or on Canvas Discussions Workshop Drafts Here!).
--El Deafo: 3rd 4th
/nline Handouts: Evenson's "The Prophets" (a funny (?) homage to the Lafferty brothers? Certainly fiction...or is it? From Our Lovely Deseret #10)

Assignments Due Before Class:

  • Outside Reading Reaction #1 (due by Monday 26th): 600 writerly words about a creative nonfiction reading, play, or performance event you've attended (not a musical). See some Youtube.com readings/interviews (look at both) in the previous lecture notes above. Be sure you use one of our Letter's or Texts of Bliss theory, or any other theory to help you make specific and writerly comments. You can do two extra reactions for extra credit.
  • Ex. 6 Dialogue see spring break instructions...
  • Journal 4: guided journal writing to some of these 50 character questions (I like the last 10 best); for one or more of the "characters" you are working with, choose any 5 of the 50 character questions, and start filling in some of their background and emotion.
  • Maia, Adam, Matt,will bring 14 copies of a workshop story (20 pages, double-spaced MAX)? Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here. Upload workshop 2 stories to Workshop 2 Drafts here.

Announcements:

  • Be working on replies to your group's Ex. 6's (see Canvas Announcements).

 

 

??Day 17 Lecture Notes

??Day 17 Lecture Notes--Pomo and Narrative????

Day 18 Lecture Notes

 

Notes on creating a graphic nonfiction story or book

Play template is already set up to do quick dialogue for each character--see Canvas Files

Look at the styles of graphics and dialogue/narration in other graphic autobiographies:

  • Persepolis--about an Iranian girl in 1979 and 1980
  • Fun Home--Allyson Beckdel's graphic memoir/autobiography about her father and herself
  • Maus--the artist's father's autobiography as a survivor of the Holocaust
  • You can look up many more by googling Best Graphic Memoirs

 

 

Exercise?? : character from p. 99-107--complete one of these character exercises thinking about Pam Durban's advice about giving characters particular sadness or particular anger (Letters p. 147).

?????A better Exercise ???--postmodern revisionist story--post a link or excerpt of the story/text you are revising. This story can be a myth, a novel, a story, a piece of folklore, or some other text you have always loved. What part of Oedipus Rex do you want to revise? Maybe he actually hears good news from his messenger! And he ends up dying of obesity and cholesterol and the boredom of his people. For more detail, or click here. For more detail click here, or go to the lecture links. Read Barth's "Dunyazadiad" in Canvas Files for more ideas (or read the first number of pages--it's a retelling of 1001 nights from Sheherazade's little sister's POV). We'll try to get close to 3000 words by next week.

 

 

 

Voice from Metro. Who's telling the story, and who's listening. See handout in Canvas Files

 

Mar. 28

Show and Tell Pomo--The Non-Linear Story with The Fantastic or Postmodern Elements

Readings:

--Peer Stories: Any from last time, and Matt bring comments on their stories (if you miss a class, you need to pick up manuscripts in advance outside my office CB410d or on Canvas Discussions Workshop Drafts Here!).
--Best 13: "Triage" and "The Art of Being Born"
--El Deafo: finish; bring to class
/nline Handouts: Houghton's "Pure" (a flash chapter from a novel, though Lee knows it's nonfiction; from Our Lovely Deseret #9).
--Handout: David Foster Wallace: reads from "Shipping Out" a bit, an irony-filled story about a trip on a luxury cruise (the full essay is in our Canvas Files area--look for DFW)
--Handout: story board templates (named Comic Templates) for graphic memoirs are available all over the place. These are available in our Canvas Files--look for Comic Templates, then play with all of them, or just pick one and copy it over and over; or make your own in MSWord etc

Assignment Due:

  • Exercise 7: be working on a short graphic non-fiction--have a pretty good draft you could show us. You can use the character questions from Journal 4 above to help you keep fleshing interesting aspects of everyone involved in this particular memoir/short non-fiction.
    • part 1: early outline/draft with possible scenes with monologue or dialogue as if you are writing a play or screenplay (you can have narration in italics or brackets, for instance--see the Play MSWord Template in Canvas Files). If you are serious about plays or screenplays, you can buy First Draft for a student fee.
    • part 2: story boards with stick figures or magazine collage cut outs to represent characters including, of course, yourself. You can also just use heads with simple facial expressions (see How To Draw comic faces in Youtube, like from Doodle Art). Here are somestory board templates.
    • ??Bring pens, pencils, and your own story boards (or software you might like to use for story boarding, and we'll work in class part of the time).
  • ?? and will bring 14 copies of a workshop story (20 pages, double-spaced MAX)? Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here. Upload workshop 2 stories to Workshop 2 Drafts here.

 

Workshop, but also leave room to work on Ex. 7 graphic creative non-fiction

How we speak...look at "The Prophets" from last class...sounds like Utah via deep woods Alaska...

Dialogue and Narration in Graphic Stories--how is it done in El Deafo?

Allison Bechdel's Fun Home for Kindle has one panel per page which makes it more readable, but there is a ton of page turning...

Discuss Dialogue!

El Deafo uses blank dialogue baloons to suggest the lack of hearing all the way around, or huge empty balloons to suggest unheard screaming...it's quite funny and endearing.

Ap. 2 Lee was sick--postpone calendar one class day  
Ap. 4

The Postmodern Creative Nonfiction, and more about the Graphic Novel

Readings:

--Peer Stories: Stacy, Kevin, Samantha; Maia, Adam bring comments on their stories (if you miss a class, you need to pick up manuscripts in advance outside my office CB410d or on Canvas Discussions Workshop Drafts Here!).
--Best 13: "Triage" and "The Art of Being Born"
--El Deafo: bring to class
--Online Handouts: Houghton's "Pure" (a flash chapter from a novel, though Lee knows it's nonfiction; from Our Lovely Deseret #9).
--Handout: Canvas Files in Metro, the file on Voice
--Winterson: "Why Be Happy..." read the first 1/4th of the book


Assignment Due:

  • Exercise 7--keep working on your graphic story with dialogue . Here are some templates you could use for story boarding in case you didn't find any last time. Sometimes you can write more easily if you are sketching and writing dialogue in bubbles, and narration at the top along with your graphics. I also worked on my face drawing by watching Youtube videos about easy comic face drawing like Doodle Art.

 

Announcements:

  • FYI Be working on a piece you might want to workshop next

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Show and tell!? No, we'll wait until next time

Non-linear stories

Postmodern moves you can try...

vs. Truth in "Regional" Writing

Story Boarding--a graphic nonfiction

Day 19 Lecture Notes

Day 20 Lecture Notes

--Be ready to show me one strategy from the pomo readings that looks like one of the postmodern strategies from the Pomo Laundry List. And be ready to read from your pomo revisionist story (I'll pull things up on the board).

Replies to your group's Ex. 6: Comment on your groups' pomo revisionist stories in Canvas Discussions Postmodern Revisionist Story--choose 2 people (see Canvas Announcements for a list of your groups). What can you say about their revision?  Are they playing with any other postmodern (pomo) techniques--parody? Excess? Short-Circuiting?  Who's telling the story?  Are they unreliable?  Are they neurotic or fatalistic, or do they believe in the goodness of humanity (pomos are usually fatalistic)?   What kind of Freytag's Triangle or Hero's Journey are they following, or how are they undercutting this kind of structure?

Ap. 9

Show and Tell Pomo--The Non-Linear Story with The Fantastic or Postmodern Elements, and Truth in "Regional" Writing

Readings:

--Peer Stories: Maia, Matt, Adam will be workshopped today--bring comments on their stories (if you miss a class, you need to pick up manuscripts in advance outside my office CB410d or on Canvas Discussions Workshop Drafts Here!).
--Best 13: "What Happens in Hell"
--El Deafo: bring it
--Lopate: ch. 8 "On the Ethics of Writing about Others"
--Handout: Pam Houston's "How to Talk to a Hunter" (her work is also quite autobiographical, though labeled as fiction)
--Handout: Barthes' Text of Pleasure vs Text of Bliss (lecture notes on yet another way to think of stories aesthetically)
--Winterson: "Why Be Happy..." read the first 2/4th of the book
--Handout: Pomo Laundry List (a number of key concepts that can help you understand more modern ways of telling stories)

 

Assignments Due Before Class:
  • Exercise 7 A short graphic non-fiction--a better draft due to class today, and also to Canvas Today (you can scan to PDF with your phone: android can use CamScanner, and Ios can use Genious Scan)! I want some show and tell!
  • ?? will bring 14 copies of a workshop story (20 pages, double-spaced MAX)? Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here. Upload workshop 2 stories to Workshop 2 Drafts here.



Assignment Due:

Announcements:

  • FYI Be working on a piece you might want to workshop next (this could be your pomo story, a regional story, or whatever else you want us to comment on)

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

Show and tell!

Day 20 Lecture Notes

 

On the essay on hating...hazlitt Lopate loc. 1976

Hazlitt: On the Pleasure of Hating

Woolf's Death of the Moth

 

Students might want to watch these authors read for an extra credit Outside Reading Reaction:

--Sedaris and David Rakoff
--Tina Fey
--Jenny Lawson

 

 

 

 

Graphic Non-fiction: story vs storyboards??

 

 

 

Day 21 Lecture Notes

 

?? In Class?Journal 5--Guided Journaling: think of a setting that has some kind of strong feeling for you or a story that is triggered by fleshing details about it (and think of the people in that setting).  You should know that setting well.  You can start by free-writing, or by fleshing it like a character with some of the the questions in this link,  (Links to an external site.) then Upload to Canvas Discussions). Hopefully this will be the start of a "regional" story or a nature story.Your answers to questions fleshing a setting and it's people.  This should be for a place you know well, one you might write a story about (the first time I heard the theme from The Exorcist, my father was driving us in the Phoenix heat to the store to get milk and pecan cookies, a store where we would part at Christmas and come out to find all our toys had been stolen. The Exorcist, and the store, always made me think of dead bodies in the forest, dark and murderous of my joy). Just make sure your stairs are in a town you know well (like the stairwell in the back of the brick Chalimar apartments in downtown Salt Lake City).

Ap. 11

Regional Writing, and Workshopping

Readings:

--Peer stories: carefully read and comment on ?? (with close reading comments on the page).
--Best 13: "The Exhibit Will be so Marked" and "The Girls in My Town"
--Lopez: bring to class
--Lopate: ch. 17 "Hazlit on Hating" (the devil's advocate essay...how to write a hateful essay)
--El Deafo: bring it (is it for children?)
--Winterson: "Why Be Happy..." read the last 3/4th of the book
--Lopate: "The Lyric Essay" ch. 14

 

Assignment Due:

  • Think about Ex. 8: be working on your hate essays or lyric essay--due Ap. 16
  • Madelyn, Blake, Abbey will bring 14 copies of a workshop story (20 pages, double-spaced MAX)? Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here. Upload workshop 2 stories to Workshop 2 Drafts here.

 

Announcements:

  • Sign up for consultations.
  • Do the UVUlink course evaluation for extra credit!

 

 

Lee's Lecture Notes:

 

Day 20 Lecture Notes

 

Hating: "Men assemble in crowds, with eager enthusiasm, to witness a tragedy: but if there were an execution going forward in the next street, as Mr. Burke observes, the theater would be left empty."

Woolf's Moth: "to have only a moth’s part in life, and a day moth’s at that, appeared a hard fate, and his zest in enjoying his meagre opportunities to the full, pathetic."

 

The Lyric Essay

 

Day 21 Lecture Notes

???Journal 6: May be In Class--Guided Journal: choose one of the emailed dialogue assignments and upload to--"Speech Flavor, Or Sounding Real" or "Dialogue is All Art, Not Talk."

  • Exercise 8: Regional/Setting Focused Story: ...which can be urban or natural--start a draft of (or even finish!) a "regional" story where a certain setting (like Utah--the old strip mall on State Street where I spent time looking for clothes to go skiing in, or the Rock Canyon trail full of, surprise, rocks, or the Provo bike trail full of, surprise, bikes, and the sounds of guns being fired) and the people of a certain setting play a larger role; or maybe the setting plays a kind of magical role; stereotypes may be played with but also deconstructed. Think about the "regional" story premises from the readings: a story about a religious zealot getting more and more out of control? You may know one. A story about a mother in Orem, Utah who has visions of Hollywood grandeur? You may be that person. A story about a Moab ranch hand falling in love with a Mormon girl who has a fundamentalist father? We've all known these people. Ideas from students: A Neverending Story that a character picks up on Center Street outside ABG's?  An underground world below the University Mall?  A story about a character searching for the long lost Everett Reuss in Escalante?  A story about falling in love with Cowboys (or pseudo cowboys)?  A story about a haunted house next to the Provo River?  A story about a character who finds a human ear in the grass while walking to I Hop?  A story about dumpster diving in Orem?). Upload this to Canvas Discussions.
  • Workshop 2 Revision if you have it ready.
Ap. 16

Time, Don't Forget to Reflect, and Workshopping

Readings:

--Peer stories read and commented on: Madelyn, Blake, Abbey (close read).
--El Deafo: bring it
--Best 13: "Some Notes on Atunement"
--Winterson: keep reading
--Handout: an essay by Montaigne...
--Lopate: ch. 21 "The Memoir and it's Critics"
--Best 13: "Letter from Majorca" and "Ghost Estates"
--Winterson: try to finish
--Read Canvas Files Handout: The Things They Carry by Tim Brien

 

Assignment Due:

  • Exercise 8 due: 500-1800 words either a hate essay (how we/you hate something that we aren't supposed to hate (see Hazlitt's hate essay), or a lyric essay (a poetic essay with metaphor, rhythm, paralellism, fragments--see Dillard's "Total Equlipse" again, and Woolf's Moth essay)
  • Workshop 2 Revision: revisions for Lee were due last month!! Today is the last day to get them in!
  • Martha, Rebecca, Adam's graphic story, will bring 14 copies of a workshop story (20 pages, double-spaced MAX)? Be sure to upload workshop 1 stories to Canvas Discussions Workshop 1 Drafts Here. Upload workshop 2 stories to Workshop 2 Drafts here.

Announcements:

  • Sign up for consultations.
  • --All late work due by 11:59 !
  • Complete on-line course evaluation in UV Link worth extra credit! Just email Lee when you have completed it.
 

Lee's Lecture Notes:
workshop

Day 22 Lecture Notes

???Journal 7--guided journal: From the book What If: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers, do the exercise "What's at Stake" Part 1 and 2 starting on p. 213 of the handout in Canvas (see Canvas Files WIFStakeRevision245to267.pdf if you want to see part 2 which I think you should do). You'll be free-writing a little bit about what it means to risk in one or two stories you've most enjoyed (your favorite stories), and also where you use risk in one or two of your own stories (or where you want to ask risk to a story revision). I talked about risk in terms of subtext, or that implied, usually also seldom talked about, more important conflict each character has within themselves, and with other characters (psychological drama vs. physical drama--Lee thinks you need both in a novel). Upload to Canvas Discussions.

.... Ex. 4 Graphic Memory Story Boards: start laying out story boards and text for your graphic memoir (or graphic short creative nonfiction). This assignment can include your own stick figure art, and dialogue and some narration and thought bubbles not unlike El Deafo, but perhaps with a short Freytag's triangle in mind. Write a pivotal memory of your own, or someone else's who you know well. Write for kids, young adults, or adults. You can use this PDF storyboard template, or create your own in Photoshop or In Design or even Word. Upload to Canvas Discussions.

Ap. 18

Workshopping, and Writing with Modernist or Postmodernist techniques, or try Minimalism

Readings:

--Peer stories: make direct, close reading comments--Blake, Rebecca's
--Lopate: "How do you End an Essay?" ch. 4
--Best 13: "His Last Game" and "When They Let Them Bleed"
--Winterson: read the second 1/4th

 

Assignment Due:

  • Reading Reaction 4: 600 writerly words, double-spaced reaction to El Deafo as well as to two of the regional and pomo readings before today (pomo, or postmodern, can mean many many styles of writing or content--Lopez is pomo because he writes with natural protagonists and gives them identities which is more magical realism--this is a form of The Fantastic). What about the story seems to be trying to "make it new," a motto of modernist that seems to be important for all artistic writers? What differences do you see between confessional memoir vs. non-memoir creative nonfiction--non-linear confessionalism is pomo in it's structure. What about Winterson's book about her mother, her childhood, told the second time? Very meta in that it refers to the first text, Oranges Aren't the Only Fruit.  El Deafo is part of the new genre of graphic novel (or memoir) where popular comic book imagery is used with a deeper story--thus a few genres come together in a new way. Sedaris uses a lot of excess which he says he can do because his family is so drug addled they can't tell the difference. What discomforts you about any of these stories? What puts you in crisis with them? Where do you see pomo strategies like excess, short circuits, parody, or meta-fiction (common in Tim O'Brien)? Is there anything realism-oriented about the stories, a sense that the language is simple and transparent or without a strong style? Do they have fleshed "characters," and a one thing more? Upload this to Canvas Discussions.
  • Workshop 3 or 4 Revision: 3rd revisions for Lee are due May 2. Include my purple workshop comments with the revision. If you haven't done so, upload your draft to Canvas Assignments Workshop 1 Drafts Here which is where I'll put the grade.
  • Kaitlyn, Sammy, Samantha, Stacy will bring 14 copies of a workshop story (20 pages, double-spaced MAX)? Be sure to upload workshop 2 stories to Workshop 2 Drafts here. LAST CHANCE

 

Announcements:

  • Sign up for consultations.
  • Complete on-line course evaluation in UV Link worth extra credit! Just email Lee when you have completed it.

 

Day 23 Lecture Notes--subtext

Day 24 Lecture Notes

Character--50 questions etc.

Time and it's complexities

 

 

????Ex. 8??????????: the Devil's Advocate essay (--a polemic????--told creatively, of course)--see Philip Lopate's chapter 5 on Contrarity for more ideas. Think about paradoxes and ironies and topics that have too much piety, or almost no piety. Lopate quotes Kipnis: “'Polemics exist to poke holes in cultural pieties and turn received wisdom on its head, even about sacrosanct subjects like love'" (Kindle Location 1025). Why would someone write against joy of life? Why would someone write against the beauty of nature? What would everyone write about, say, nature, and then what would you write with your own pissyness? Lopate also says, "the contrarian essayist, by presenting himself or herself from the start as an oddball, allows the reader a space to entertain forbidden or antisocial thoughts with minimal risk" (Kindle Locations 1028-1029). I have always been obsessively fair minded, often playing devil's advocate when my mother expressed illogical arguments or didn't look at enough alternative points of view (to the point that my mother wanted to slap me, but she wasn't allowed to let the German part of her out. My father, a kind of pacifist, wouldn't let her). She would say, "Helen Reddy's music is bad because she's one of those (a lesbian, in other words)," and she giggled a bit, but then looked at me sternly. And I would say, "But what does music have to do with, well, that?" I didn't know about Mozart back then, but might have said, "Haven't perverse people like Mozart created beautiful music?" I do find myself thinking about perverse people creating great art since my wife and I just watched a documentary about the "perverse" photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. I had never seen his fisting nude, or his self portrait with a bull whip coming out of his ass. At the time, even the art world was shocked at these. Now they sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'm no prude, and I certainly find many reasons to say why his photos are so necessary, but if I'm writing contrary to this opinion in order to give voice to (and critique) Mapplethorpe's critics, can I do it without being petty? Upload to Canvas Discussions.

 

Ap. 23

Workshop Like Mad! And Endings...whimper

Readings:

--Peer stories: make direct, close reading comments on Martha again, Adam's graphic story (in CAnvas Workshop 3), then Sammy and Kaitlyn, Samantha,
--Lopate: bring it
--Best 13: "Field Notes on Hair"
--Winterson: keep reading
--Handout in Canvas Files: What If on opening up your story, from the What's at stake? file

 

Assignment Due:

  • Heads Up: Optional Extra Credit: Outside Reading Reaction #2 due by April 22 11:59pm: 600 writerly words about a reading night like My Word (Ap. 18th), play, or performance event you've attended (not a musical; you can also find more Youtube.com readings as needed--see links from Outside RR 1 in Canvas Assignments; there are also readings of some of the Best 99 stories in Canvas Files Audio--(Mrs. Dutta is about an aging mom and her dutiful and obnoxious family). Or Post to Canvas extra credit.

Announcements:

  • Complete on-line course evaluation in UV Link worth extra credit! Just email Lee when you have completed it.
  • Sign up for a consultation

 

Day 24 Lecture Notes

 

Day 25 Lecture Notes

 

Day 26 Lecture Notes

Ap. 25 Wed.

Consultation Day--No Class--Lee is available in CB410d for consultations about your final revision, grade letters, writiing comment questions etc. Sign up to see her!

 

Announcements:

  • Complete on-line course evaluation in UV Link worth extra credit! Just email Lee when you have completed it.

 

 

Assignments due: Reading Reaction 5: 600 words, double-spaced reaction to one of the regional readings above ("Pure," vs. "How to Talk to a Hunter" vs. ? etc.). What makes it regional? How are accents or certain colloquialisms conveyed? What makes the setting a character in some of these stories? What region are you from and how would you write about that region. Lee is from Phoenix, so Saguaro's and strip malls are an important part of the landscape. Upload this to Canvas Discussions.

Ap. 27 Fri.

 

 

Reading Day--Studypalooza--no class! Lee may have consultations in her office CB 410d. See sign up sheet during class, or email.

 

Assignments Due: to Canvas!

  • Extra credit outside RR's due: 600 words, so in other words this might be ORR2 (there were readings last week at My Word you could use, or find your favorite author like Annie Dillard or David Sedaris on Youtube.com, or see my list of on-line readings in the Outside RR1 on Canvas Assignments).
  • Self-Evaluation Letter: write 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? Please upload to Canvas Assignments.
  • Bring your stories that have comments so we can discuss questions and ideas for revision!
  • Complete on-line course evaluation in UV Link worth extra credit! Just email Lee when you have completed it.

 


 

Ap. 30

Finals Week--no class

ILee will likely be in her office, CB 410d, to meet with you to discuss revisions and grades.

Announcements:

  • Self-Evaluation--turn it in even if late--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? Upload to Canvas Assignments.
  • Bring your stories that have comments so we can discuss questions and ideas for revision!
  • Complete on-line course evaluation in UV Link worth extra credit! Just email Lee when you have completed it.

 

 
May 2 Wed.

Final Revision Due to Canvas!

 

  • Workshop 3 or 4 Final Revision due by 11:59pm to Canvas!
  • Be sure you send me a scan or photo of my purple comments to you, and upload them to Assignments Lee's Comments.

AND be sure you check your email until a month into the next semester or so in case you are missing something like a revision or reading reaction.

 

 
May 3 Thurs.

Last day to upload to Canvas! You better have all your late stuff in there or it won't be graded...

And the angry, confused woman looked out over Utah Lake and it's putrifaction, it's pale green and yellow surface, it's soon-to-be-dead spring fish.

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