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MFA Course Descriptions

IMF 53600
Fundamentals of Contemporary Fiction

Instructor: Wm Anthony Connolly

Class Type: Craft 

Course Description: 

It is hard to describe. I have an idea of the beginning. I write the first line and continue to the last. I correct a great deal, work hard and write several drafts, but I never question the finished work. – Alain Robbe-Grillet

Producing fiction, let alone defining its process, can be difficult. There are so many paths to the top of that mountain. But what is less shrouded in mystery is the equipment a writer needs – Stephen King famously calls them tools for the toolbox.

This course provides the tools that all writers need to get the words on the page. Acquiring these tools means exploring the expansive boundaries and the foundational principles of current long and short prose fiction in order to prepare writers for today’s art form.

Fundamentals include:

-How to establish a strong and regular writing practice

-Exploring the principles of fiction

-Mastering the power of details

-Developing rich characters

-Discovering the tricks of plotting

-Creating effective dialogue

-Structuring prose for maximum effect

-Establishing and using point of view

-Serving to launch the writer out into the larger community of fellow writers and readers

And throughout all of this exploring, developing, and establishing – writing of course; and remember, “you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great,” wrote Joe Saba.

So let’s start.

Textbook: 

Truth About Fiction
Schoen
ISBN 9780130257710

Lindenwood University
209 S. Kingshighway
St. Charles, MO 63301