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Fancy Moves in Fiction

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IN PROGRESS
Thursdays, 6 weeks
Sep 21
-
Nov 2
6:00 - 8:00 PM CT
INSTRUCTOR:
Clemintine Guirado
LOCATION:
The Porch House at 2811 Dogwood Pl., Nashville, TN 37204
$
297
FOR MEMBERS
$
349
FOR non-MEMBERS
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In this fun, generative, craft workshop we will explore specific techniques through close reading and intrepid modeling of accomplished author’s “fancy moves.”

Each week, we'll “apprentice” with established ink-slingers by borrowing their techniques: We’ll imitate Mary Gaitskill’s expert weaving of direct dialogue, summarized dialogue, scene and flashback. We’ll explore what Madison Smartt Bell calls the “scenelett” and Jane Allison calls “splicing sensory glimmers” in order to enliven summary. We’ll emulate Jamaica Kincaid, Carmen Maria Machado, and Lewis Nordan’s evocative use of the “list.” We’ll look at Elaine Scarry’s research on how authors create solidity, the illusion of movement, and teach “made-up birds to fly” via moves like “radiant ignition,” “rarity,” and “floral supposition.” We’ll attempt Michael Martone, Hemingway, and Raymond Carver’s “hobbling” of the voice of a first-person narrator—a risky move which can be a spectacular victory or fail—and we’ll practice failing (and flying) during craft-based, in-class exercises.

This course is a workshop in the classical sense of woodworking or cobblery; our focus will be on deep craft and practicing “the moves.” In addition to in class exercises, each week, every workshop member will turn in one-to-three-page scenes or fragments that take on the techniques of the reading which will be micro-shared as time allows (we'll also write comments). You may choose to work into your novel/project or treat the exercises as kernels for longer work. The instructor will also meet with everyone for a private conference about their writing.

Trigger warning: Some readings may be visceral, disturbing, or violate the social contract

NOTE: NO CLASS OCTOBER 12.

Clemintine Guirado has published short stories in Masters Review, Best New American Voices, Rainbow Curve, Comet Magazine, and 580 Split. Her short story "Above Asmara" won a Robie McCauley Award from StoryQuarterly and was subsequently included as a Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize Anthology. She is a former Wallace Stegner Fiction Fellow, a University of Wisconsin Fiction Fellow, and has taught creative writing for over twenty years in universities, haunted beach motels, a trailer with a multi-dimensional portal.

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