In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to the techniques that masters of fiction use to ground a story in a concrete world. From the most realist settings to the most fantastical, writers will learn how to describe the physical world in sharp, sensory detail. We will also learn how to build credibility through research, and to use creative meditation exercises to deepen our own understanding of our story worlds, so that our readers can see all that we imagine.
- Week 1 - Persuasive Settings: Why Description Matters
Writing a great short story is like conveying a dream. As we will see from studying one famous master, a "persuasive" setting is necessary in order to build mood, character, and even plot.
- Week 2 - If You Build It, They Will Come
Pack your fiction with "vitamin-rich" detail. Looking at the work of both masters and students, we will discuss how funny, meaningful, and powerful details can be.
- Week 3 - Credibility and Research
Create settings both familiar and unfamiliar to you, while avoiding common missteps. You will be guided through several meditation exercises as you practice "imaginative research".
- Week 4 - Realities
Setting and description works in realist and non-realist fiction, as well as across literary genres. Consider how to write about your own "primal landscape".
Visiting Scholar in Creative Writing