How to Tell a Love Story
According to W.B. Yeats, “Only that which does not teach, which does not cry out, which does not persuade, which does not condescend, which does not explain, is irresistible.” Yet when experience or imagination compels us to write fiction about love, the first things we want to do are cry out and explain! Why is it that a writer’s sincerest outpouring, even the confession of a real-life experience, might affect the reader not at all; but the distilled work of a restrained stylist telling a story about people who never lived can leave the reader in tears? In this class, we will workshop your stories with an eye toward transforming the intensity of the lived experience of love into a work of fiction that the reader not only witnesses but experiences herself. The course will run mainly as a workshop: students will read each other’s work and respond to it, both in writing and in discussion.
Students should come to the first class with six copies of a manuscript (10-20 pages) which we will workshop over the course of the week.
SALVATORE SCIBONA’s first novel, The End, was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Young Lions Fiction Award from The New York Public Library. Scibona has won a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and a Fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where he serves on the Writing Committee. In 2010, he was included in The New Yorker’s "20 Under 40" list of young writers to watch.