GrubStreet: Novel Study Hall: Narrative Techniques
In this six-week class, you will explore an array of acclaimed books in order to learn more about the many narrative techniques that can be employed in writing novels, while also working to improve and expand other writing projects. Each week you will read excerpts from two novels (in a variety of genres) and then discuss these readings in class, focusing on such topics as 1st-person versus 3rd-person narratives, narrative tone, multiple time-frames, and even the epistolary format. The authors you will read include Tash Aw, Octavia E. Butler, John Williams, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Ernest J. Gaines.
Students will also write a short piece in connection with each pair of readings, using the excerpts and provided prompts as jumping-off points to experiment with different narrative techniques in their own writing. These pieces can be related to the students’ larger projects or stand alone as short stories, and will be shared and discussed in class each week.