Advanced Fiction Writing: The Suspense Story|
Spring 2012 not offered
|This course may be repeated for credit.|
This course will focus on advanced fiction writing techniques used in suspense fiction and will explore the concept of genre. Are fictional genres such as the suspense thriller, the detective story, and the literary story artificial constructs, or do these labels meaningfully distinguish between categories of fiction with distinct traditions and qualities? Students will begin the semester by wrestling with definitions of the suspense thriller and examining techniques used by Gothic writers such as Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley to evoke mood and suspense in fiction. Thereafter, the class will chart the emergence of the detective story genre in the works of Poe and Wilkie Collins; read classic detective stories by such authors as James Cain, Patricia Highsmith, and Georges Simenon; and learn plotting techniques exalted by masters of the detective story.
Paula Sharp is the author of four novels and a collection of short stories. She is writer-in-residence at the College of Letters and has taught there since 2003.
Focus on reading and writing.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Selected Fiction by James Cain, Wilkie Collins, William Faulkner, Patricia Highsmith, Shirley Jackson, E.P. Jones, Somerset Maugham, Edgar Allan Poe, Georges Simenon, Wallace Stegner, Jim Thompson and Mary Shelley Wollenstonecraft.
|Examination and Assignments: |
This course has demanding reading and writing requirements. Students will read approximately 200 pages of fiction or non-fiction per week, and will write between 40-50 pages of short fiction or non-fiction during the semester (three short assignments; and one long work of 35-40 pages, or two short works of 15-20 pages).
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Students will complete several short assignments and write a story utilizing techniques studied in class.
Students who have taken COL201 should email Professor Sharp (email@example.com) to obtain permission to attend the seminar. Students who have not taken COL201 should send a writing sample and ask for a short application form (allowing students to provide information on their qualifications to take an advanced course). Professor Sharp will begin considering applications in November. Preference is given to COL majors and upperclassmen, but students majoring in other areas are encouraged to apply. Permission of instructor will be granted in January. Students must submit a drop/add request for this course.
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