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FICT 192 W — Revision Demystified: Take Your Stories to Completion

Quarter: Spring
Date(s): Mar 28—Jun 3
Duration: 10 weeks
Drop By
Drop Deadline: Mar 31
Unit(s): 3 Units
Tuition: $805
Format: Online course (System Requirements)
Limit: Limit 17
Status: Open
Even writers who have mastered the steps of creating a short story can be daunted by the process of revision. It’s much easier to know that a story is not working than to pinpoint the reasons why. For this course, students should already have a completed draft of a short story in hand. Each week, we will use exercises targeted to your story in order to improve character development, dialogue, and language. We will step back from our stories, viewing them with an objective eye to discern thematic intent and how we can better focus imagery. Close reading of such authors as George Saunders and ZZ Packer will help illuminate those same story aspects. We will also investigate literary journals and learn how to evaluate which ones are a good match for your work. The course will conclude with workshopping your revised drafts (twelve to twenty pages) in a supportive and encouraging environment. Students will leave the course with a full set of revision skills and the confidence to apply that knowledge to all their future work.

This is an online course. For more information about the Online Writing Program, visit our FAQs.

Stacey Swann, Former William Chace Lecturer in Continuing Studies; Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford

Stacey Swann’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in NER Digital, Epoch, Versal, Memorious, Freight Stories, The Good Men Project, and The Saint Ann’s Review. Her short story collection The Dead Zoo was a finalist for the 2010 Bakeless Literary Publication Prize. She is the former editor and a current contributing editor of the literary quarterly American Short Fiction. She received an MFA from Texas State University.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Renni Browne and Dave King, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print (ISBN 978-0060545697)
(Required) T. C. Boyle and Heidi Pitlor, The Best American Short Stories 2015 (ISBN 0547939418)
(Recommended) Short fiction by David James Poissant, Helen Phillips, & Amy Bloom, Draft: The Journal of Process, Issue IV: Spring 2014 (ISBN 978-0-9853744-0-2)