NOVELLA: Embracing the Long and the Short
We often spend fiction writing workshops focusing on short stories or novels-in-progress. But what about the novella, which pushes the constraints of the short story at the same time as it avoids occupying the typical scope of a novel? This class will be dedicated to scrutinizing the form and exploring it in the best interest of the (long-ish) stories we aim to tell. How do we define a novella? As writers, what benefits are there to working on novellas? How do we handle the basic elements of story and plot, and what techniques from our reading can we use while working on a novella? In this class, we will address strategies for shrinking or expanding our writing and we will evaluate the kinds of stories that might best suit the novella form. We will read excerpts from a range of novellas, including ones by Henry James, Rachel Ingalls, Toni Morrison, and César Aira. Class will be centered around generative exercises, examining and discussing methods for writing novellas, determining what advantages this form affords the writer and, most importantly, the story he or she is attempting to tell.