Instructor: Griffith
TR 9:30 AM-10:50 AM

Broadly speaking, the goal of a Forms course is to learn how to approach literary texts from the perspective of a writer. Though writing workshops are at the heart of any creative-writing program, Forms is perhaps more like “shop class” than workshop is. Instead of focusing on our own compositions, we’ll spend most of the semester taking things apart and putting them back together, trying to understand how well-made works of fiction are constructed on the level of craft and style and how various effects are achieved.

In this particular forms course, we’ll be doing what amounts to a survey of the writer’s point-of-view options: first person (singular and plural), second person, and the many, many varieties of third person narration—as well as the possibilities of rotating and hybrid perspectives. We’ll be reading short stories and novels, as well as writing short pieces of our own, to explore the possibilities and to get ourselves more familiar with the advantages and disadvantages, the subtle implications, of the writer’s first and most fundamental choice: who will tell the story, and from what perspective.