Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description

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Description

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  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to the techniques that masters of fiction use to ground a story in a concrete world. From the most realist settings to the most fantastical, writers will learn how to describe the physical world in sharp, sensory detail. We will also learn how to build credibility through research, and to use creative meditation exercises to deepen our own understanding of our story worlds, so that our readers can see all that we imagine.

Created by:  Wesleyan University
  • Taught by:  Amity Gaige, Visiting Scholar in Creative Writing

Basic Info Course 3 of 5 in the Creative Writing Specialization Commitment…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to the techniques that masters of fiction use to ground a story in a concrete world. From the most realist settings to the most fantastical, writers will learn how to describe the physical world in sharp, sensory detail. We will also learn how to build credibility through research, and to use creative meditation exercises to deepen our own understanding of our story worlds, so that our readers can see all that we imagine.

Created by:  Wesleyan University
  • Taught by:  Amity Gaige, Visiting Scholar in Creative Writing

Basic Info Course 3 of 5 in the Creative Writing Specialization Commitment 4 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.7 stars Average User Rating 4.7See what learners said Coursework

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Wesleyan University At Wesleyan, distinguished scholar-teachers work closely with students, taking advantage of fluidity among disciplines to explore the world with a variety of tools. The university seeks to build a diverse, energetic community of students, faculty, and staff who think critically and creatively and who value independence of mind and generosity of spirit.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Persuasive Settings: Why Description Matters
Writing a great short story is like conveying a dream. As we will see from studying one famous master, a "persuasive" setting is necessary in order to build mood, character, and even plot.


7 videos, 4 readings expand


  1. Video: Why Do We Write?
  2. Reading: "The Power of Persuasion" by Mario Vargas Llosa
  3. Video: The Power of Persuasion
  4. Video: Moving Through Time and Space
  5. Reading: "The Odour of Chrysanthemums" by D.H. Lawrence
  6. Video: Nothing Can Happen Nowhere
  7. Video: Shop Talk with Brando Skyhorse
  8. Reading: A Note on Assignments
  9. Video: Feedback Expectations for the Specialization
  10. Video: Assignment Overview: Slow-Motion Moment
  11. Reading: Promo Codes

Graded: Slow Motion Moment

WEEK 2


If You Build It, They Will Come
Pack your fiction with "vitamin-rich" detail. Looking at the work of both masters and students, we will discuss how funny, meaningful, and powerful details can be.


4 videos, 3 readings expand


  1. Video: What Is Significant Detail?
  2. Video: "Things That Suck"
  3. Reading: Text of "How to Write About Africa" by Binyavanga Wainaina
  4. Reading: "How to Become a Writer" by Lorrie Moore
  5. Reading: "Forever Overhead" by David Foster Wallace
  6. Video: Shop Talk with Salvatore Scibona
  7. Video: Assignment Overview: Habitual Ritual

Graded: Habitual Ritual

WEEK 3


Credibility and Research
Create settings both familiar and unfamiliar to you, while avoiding common missteps. You will be guided through several meditation exercises as you practice "imaginative research".


4 videos expand


  1. Video: Three Phases of Research
  2. Video: Meditation Exercise
  3. Video: Shop Talk with Amy Bloom
  4. Video: Assignment Overview: Strange Lands

Graded: Strange Lands

WEEK 4


Realities
Setting and description works in realist and non-realist fiction, as well as across literary genres. Consider how to write about your own "primal landscape".


4 videos expand


  1. Video: Looking at a Student Example
  2. Video: What Is Genre? (including Shop Talk with Amy Bloom on Noir Fiction)
  3. Video: Visiting Writer: Historical Fiction with Valerie Martin
  4. Video: Assignment Overview: Primal Landscapes

Graded: Primal Landscapes
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There are no frequently asked questions yet. Send an Email to info@springest.com