The new semester starts for me today! Thursday nights is now “Novel Form, Style, & Structure” night for me. Class description:
This craft elective is meant primarily for fiction writers, especially those writing or wishing to write a novel. Others, however, might find it of interest. The course focuses on a writer’s analysis of novels, expanding the study of fiction into techniques and issues relating to the longer form. Topics include structure, character arcs, style, consistency of voice, techniques of backstory, and plot management. Class assignments may include response writings and original fiction as well as oral presentations. Readings usually include a number of novels, plus books or essays on novel craft.
And here is the book list for the semester:
- Blood and Guts in High School by Kathy Acker
- How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez
- Washing the Dead by Michelle Brafman
- Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno by Ellen Bryson
- In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences by Truman Capote
- Stolen Child by Keith Donohue
- Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Gilman
- How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid
- In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien
- Pears on a Willow Tree by Leslie Pietrzyk
- This Angel on My Chest by Leslie Pietrzyk
- Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo by Ntozake Shange
- Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose
That last one was supposedly assigned three weeks ago so that it would have been read by the first day of class, but, for some reason, the instructor didn’t feel like emailing the class to tell us this until Tuesday. Nice.
Still, 13 books in 13 weeks. If you’ve been keeping up with the latest developments in mathematics, you’ll understand that means we’re reading a book a week. So that and Infinite Jest at the same time? And then the transition into The Illuminatus Trilogy! on the first day of spring? Oh, hell yeah. It’s on baby. Canelli’s going to need a cab to catch up with me at the end of the school year.