Shaping Short Fiction: From Aristotle to Borges and Beyond
We’ll study a variety of approaches to story structure, from the classic story curve, to the drama-focused unity of opposites, to postmodern structures that stretch the form. We’ll look at examples through each lens; what does each structure uniquely allow for; what does each require; what are principles you can apply to your own writing. We’ll mix instruction and discussion with readings from authors such as Etgar Keret, Dylan Landis, and Rick Bass. Each week you’ll have an exercise to try out a different structural approach. Each student will receive an email from the instructor at the end of the class on their work, with ideas about moving forward.
Ron MacLean, winner of the Frederick Exley Award for Short Fiction, is the author of the story collection Why the Long Face, and the novels Headlong (winner of the 2014 Indie Book Award for Best Mystery) and Blue Winnetka Skies. His stories have appeared in GQ, Narrative, Fiction International, Night Train, and elsewhere, and have received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. He holds a Doctor of Arts from the University at Albany, SUNY.