Manipulating Time in Fiction: A Generative 8-Week Zoom Workshop, Starts Monday, March 18th, 2024
Class Starts Monday, March 18th, 2024
The class will meet weekly via Zoom (Mondays, 7:00PM ET - 9:00PM ET).
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Led by Instructor Naphisa Senanarong, a fiction writer from Bangkok, currently based in Boston. She received her MFA in Fiction from Brooklyn College where she was a recipient of the Himan Brown Award for Creative Writing. Her writing has been published in Gulf Coast, Bennington Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, and more.
Learn about Naphisa in our Meet the Teaching Artist series.
How do writers make us feel like weeks, months, or even whole lifetimes have passed in the space of a story or novel that we finish in one sitting? In this generative workshop, we'll explore and put to practice techniques for capturing a compelling sense of time in our own fiction.
How often do we emerge from a good book or a short story feeling like we've spent years with a character to discover that only hours have passed? The way we invoke the passage of time in our readers is integral to fiction and its believability. With the right tools, we can ensure our readers feel the weight of years in a paragraph or experience the frenetic urgency of a single cab ride right along with our characters.
In this 8-week course, we will examine the techniques used for texturizing time in fiction-- such as distilling scenes into their most vibrant parts, disguising summaries as highly specific lists, utilizing objects as markers for time and more. We'll look at and discuss ways of determining when your story actually starts and where it should end for maximum impact. Using Joan Silber's "The Art of Time in Fiction: As Long As It Takes" as our guide, writers will explore eight distinct modes of depicting time and the inventive techniques used to achieve each. Then we will put into practice what we've learned through writing exercises based on generative prompts. In the second half of class, writers will get the chance to workshop their works in progress. We will walk away with at least 5 new works in progress.
Classes will include discussions of reading--from authors such as Carmen Maria Machado, Ethan Canin, and Anthony Veasna So--generative writing exercises, and workshop. As this is a generative class, the workshop feedback will focus on the strengths of each piece and the questions it poses with the hopes of providing a jumping off point for further development.
Week 1: Beginnings [Determining when your story actually begins]
Week 2: Classic Time [Telling stories of an evening, a day, or a season]
Week 3: Long Time [Condensing years into a story]
Week 4: Switchback Time [Jumping back and forth between past and present]
Week 5: Slowed Time [Bearing down on one moment of intensity]
Week 6: Fabulous Time [Playing with time in non-realist stories]
Week 7: Time as Subject [Exploring Memory and Stubbornness through stories]
Week 8: Endings [Knowing when to end your stories]
- Key strategies for playing with readers' perception of time in a short story.
- The ability to determine when your story should begin and end in order to clearly illuminate its meaning.
- At least 8 new works in progress inspired by various methods of depicting time in fiction.
SELECT COURSE TEXTS:
1. Excerpts from Joan Silber's The Art of Time in Fiction
2. "In the Gloaming" by Alice Elliott Dark
3. "The Ocean" by Frederick Reiken; "Exit Father" by Mai Nardone
4. "The Year of Getting to Know Us" by Ethan Canin
5. "The Husband Stitch" by Carmen Maria Machado
6. "Diem Perdidi" by Julie Otsuka
7. "The Lake" by Justin Torres
8. "Maly, Maly, Maly" by Anthony Veasna So; additional reading/adjustments may be provided according to syllabusONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!
- Instructor: Naphisa Senanarong
- Class Starts Monday, March 18th, 2024
- The class will meet weekly via Zoom (Mondays, 7:00PM ET - 9:00PM ET).
Instructor Naphisa Senanarong is a fiction writer from Bangkok, currently based in Boston. She received her MFA in Fiction from Brooklyn College where she was a recipient of the Himan Brown Award for Creative Writing. Her writing has been published in Gulf Coast, Bennington Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, and more. She has received scholarship support from Tin House. Her story has been nominated for the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers and translated into Italian by Edizioni Black Coffee publishing house. She was a finalist for the 2022 Periplus Collective Fellowship. She is currently working on a collection of linked stories set in Bangkok. Her current project explores the narratives of reinvention women construct for themselves in a place where stories are tied up in dreams, myths, and censorship.