ENGL 384 A: The Craft of Prose

Meeting Time: 
MW 1:30pm - 2:50pm
RAI 109
Daniel J. Cecil writer
Daniel Cecil

Syllabus Description:

How does a writer still create interesting, moving, and prescient work that fits into the attention span of the digital age? How do we capture the modern experience using an art form that seems, at this juncture, a bit archaic? 


We will be looking at how the ultra short short story, concision of language, and the use of fragment in prose can be used to create prescient, lively work that stick in a way longer stories fail to do, and in ways other genres cannot attempt. This is a subject I’m exploring in my own artistic practice and one I look forward to diving into with you. Some of the things we will cover in the next ten weeks will include: 


  • What are some “forms” of the short-short story (flash, “micro”, the parabolic, prose poem, collage, etc.) 
  • How does word choice propel simple sentences into the stratosphere, creating poetry in prose (don’t tell the poets)
  • How fragments and the use of collage can be used to create meaning from seemingly disparate parts
  • How contemporary language of the Internet, and its frenetic (almost schizophrenic) voice, can be captured in the short story (and why that’s necessary)
  • Revision, revision, revision … 

The full syllabus is available in the files section of Canvas. 

Catalog Description: 
Intensive study of various aspects of the craft of fiction or creative nonfiction. Readings in contemporary prose and writing using emulation and imitation. Prerequisite: ENGL 283; ENGL 284.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
March 29, 2020 - 10:10pm