Wednesday, January 26, 2011


For Monday January 31, read BOTH "Emergency" and "A White Horse."

Short Story Assignment #2

Short Story Assignment #2

The “Sidekick” or “Straight Man”

Write a short piece of fiction 3-5 pages. It may be a complete short story, and/or it may be the beginning of a longer piece. Story must be in the first person from the perspective of a character who is observing a “friend” who is very different from the observer. Ideally the story should reveal as much about the speaker as it reveals about the “friend”.

Monday, January 24, 2011


For Wednesday Jan 26, please read both "Tall Tales from the Mekon Delta" AND "Men Under Water".

Monday, January 10, 2011

Short Story Assignment #1

Write a short piece of fiction 3-5 pages. It may be a complete short story, and/or it may be the beginning of a longer piece. But it must start as follows:

“The first time I (or Name) heard a SPECIFIC SONG TITLE by SPECIFIC ARTIST, I (or Name) was down/up/over at a PLACE and we were doing ACTION”

Due Wed Jan 19

Six-Word Memoirs

Six-Word Memoirs at SMITH Magazine


Engl 277 – Intro to Fiction Writing

Instructor: Mr. David Bucci
Phone: 352-8329 Office: CC1-329 Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday, 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Class Meetings: Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:45 PM - 7:50 PM Rm: CC1-021
Class Blog:

Course Description:
Students choose to focus on writing the short story or novel and learn to make decisions about their own and others’ fiction, especially as it develops individual writing practices. The course emphasizes exploring a variety of literary elements and taking a narrative from start to finish. Students read a wide range of short stories and novels by multicultural writers to understand more clearly how different writers employ specific techniques, and to understand the role of fiction in different cultures and their own lives. Students “workshop” their stories and provide weekly critiques of their classmates’ stories and novel excerpts.

Required Course Materials:
The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories

Writing Assignments:
Five Short Story assignments (3-6 pages each)
Five Workshop Reflections (1-2 pages each)
Fiction/Literary Reading Review (2-3 pages)
Final Chapbook Portfolio with a personal statement (10-15 pages total)

In addition to these formal assignments, there will be frequent writing exercises in and out of class.

Story Submission Guidelines: When stories are due, you will need to bring enough copies for everyone in your group and I will also need a copy, so this may total five copies. Please double-space and type in a 12-pt font. NOTE: To give the others in your workshop group time to read your work, Short Story Assignments are due the class meeting immediately preceding the Workshop of for that Assignment.

Fiction/Literary Reading Review: Due by Monday March 14. You will need to attend one “literary” reading sometime during the quarter. I will recommend local readings, but you may attend any reading you like, as long as fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction is being read/performed (or discussed by the author). When you go to the reading, be sure to take notes as to when and where the reading is taking place, who is reading, what they read, and how you’re reacting to what you’re observing (Was the writing good? Interesting? What was it like to go to a reading?). This information (along with your notes) should be included in your typed, double-spaced, 2-3 page well-written and proofread review of the event. The community lit site on page one has links to readings if you’re searching online.
Course Content, Topics and Themes:
• Literary elements
• Literary devices and techniques
• Diction, tone voice
• Imagination, composition and revision
• Elements and theories of analysis
• World literary traditions
• Historical, social, political, and aesthetic contexts of fiction
• Group process

Short Story Assignments (75 points each)
Workshop Reflections (25 points each)
Fiction/Lit Reading Review (100 points)
Final Chapbook Portfolio with personal statement (200 points)

Total possible points=1000 points
4.0 = 950-100 points (A) 2.5 = 800 points (B-) 1.0 = 650 points (D)
3.5 = 900 points (A-) 2.0 = 750 points (C) 0.0 = 600 points or less
3.0 = 850 points (B) 1.5 = 700 points (C-) Complete grade conversion table available upon request.

Course Outcomes:
I. Learn Actively - Learning is a personal, interactive process that results in greater expertise and a more comprehensive understanding of the world.
• Read and reflect on a variety of literary, critical, and theoretical texts to increase knowledge of self 1 and the world
• Learn the vocabulary of poetry analysis
• Write stories using and adapting various strategies and structures
• Experiment with different forms and approaches
• Bring stories, those of one’s own and those of others, forward for discussion
• Relate personal experience of fiction to the objective analysis of it
• Workshop stories to understand and appreciate the variety of responses they evoke.
• Meet assignment deadlines and seek out appropriate resources when needed

II. Think Critically, Creatively and Reflectively -- Reason and imagination are
fundamental to problem solving and critical examination of ideas.
• Characterize the role of short stories in modern life and culture
• Appreciate the experience of short fiction apart from intellectual analysis
• Use writing exercises as a tool for thinking about the world and the writing process
• Synthesize and design new writing strategies when necessary
• Participate in constructive workshops
• Use an understanding of one’s personal values and biases, and those of others, to make judgments about one’s own and others’ work
• Revise stories for the final portfolio

III. Communicate with Clarity and Originality - The ability to exchange ideas and
information is essential to personal growth, productive work, and societal vitality.
• Keep a personal journal to reflect on short fiction and the experience of it, to practice analysis of literary works, to record ideas and sense experiences, and to prepare for formal writing
• Write expository and reflective essays that explicate stories, and place them in critical, cultural, historical, political, and aesthetic context
• Write about poetry to discover its uses in one’s own poems
• Present analysis and results of reading to classmates
• Articulate points of view about poetry using the text as evidence
• Use the Internet and other technology to gather process and communicate information

IV. Interact in Diverse and Complex Environments - Successful negotiation through our increasingly complex, interdependent and global society requires knowledge and awareness of self and others, as well as enhanced interaction skills.
• Attend literary and artistic events on and off campus to broaden one’s knowledge and exposure to ways of seeing
• Recognize and explore other’s personal and aesthetic perspectives through discussion
• Treat others with respect by carefully and honestly responding to their ideas and writing
• Create and deliver small group presentations on reading and creative experiences
• Read one’s own work in a (cyber) public forum

Schedule of Assignments (subject to change)

M 1/10: Introduction: Syllabus
IN-CLASS: 6-Word Memoir
HOMEWORK: Three 1st Lines (exercise), Bring in a paragraph of “writing you like”

W 1/12: READ: “Rock Springs”
WRITE: Three 1st Lines (exercise)

M 1/17: No Class

W 1/19: READ: “The Darling” and “Cathedral”
WRITE: 1st Story Due

M 1/24: 1st Story Workshop

W 1/26: READ: “Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta”
WRITE: 1st Story Refection Due

M 1/31: READ: “Emergency”
WRITE: 2nd Story Due

W 2/2: 2nd Story Workshop

M 2/7: READ: A Vintage Thunderbird
WRITE: 2nd Story Reflection Due

W 2/9: TBA

M 2/14: WRITE: 3rd Story Due

W 2/16: 3rd Story Workshop

M 2/21: No Class

W 2/23: WRITE: 3rd Story Reflection Due AND 4th Story Due

M 2/28: 4th Story Workshop

W 3/2: WRITE: 4th Story Reflection due

M 3/7: WRITE: 5th Story Due

W 3/9: 5th Story Workshop

M 3/14: Conferences

W 3/16: Conferences

M 3/21: TBA

W 3/23: WRITE: Final Chapbook Portfolio Due