March 20, 2019–April 24, 2019
6 p.m.–8 p.m.
The Art of Mystery: What You Don't Know
Maud Casey's The Art of Mystery: The Search for Questions is not about the mystery genre (though, if that's what you write, join us anyway!). It's not about coyness or about the frustrating lack of specificity that can leave us baffled or confused, ready to throw a book against the wall. Instead, she's talking about the secrets that enthrall us, the questions that fascinate, the mysteries that leave us rapt with wonder--even after the final page. We'll pair each of Casey's chapters with short stories or novel excerpts, then discuss some profound techniques for the creation of an "inclusive, compelling mystery."
Each week will also include concrete writing exercises and prompts to put the ideas to tangible use. Sample texts will include work by writers such as Chris Abani, Isaac Babel, James Baldwin, Jane Bowles, Carmen Maria Machado, and Yoko Tawada. This course covers an advanced concept for fiction writing. Writers who enroll in this class should already feel reasonably comfortable with more basic concepts like plot, character development, setting, dialogue, etc. But students should also expect to get practice with those elements as they enhance their understanding of this more advanced aspect of fiction.