Short Fiction
Lake Forest Academy Department of Classical and Modern Languages; Department of English
http://www.lfanet.org
 
SHORT FICTION
Fall, 2017






"Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper
until drops of blood form on your forehead.”
Gene Fowler


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Course Expectations

To become a good writer, you must approach model stories in a completely new way.  You will learn to read as an apprentice fiction writer, not as a literary critic.  Each story offers new lessons, yet each story also relies on certain universal, indispensable techniques.  You must recognize the new lessons, identify the universal techniques, and apply these to your own material.  This will not be easy.  Hemingway said that writing stories is the hardest job in the world.  But it will be a lot of fun!
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Course Objectives

By term's end, students can expect to have developed at least the following skills:

1. The ability to read as a writer.  This includes analyzing stories by established masters and identifying the techniques that good stories require, not only certain obligatory elements (e.g., conflict), but also features that are unique to that piece.
2. The ability to develop brainstorming techniques and exercises that will enable the student to generate his or her own material even after the course ends.
3. The ability to compose a strong piece of fiction that demonstrates at minimum the following (to name just a few):  sound structural elements, compelling characters, irony derived from observing the contradictory nature of human experience, effective dramatic objects, realistic dialogue, lean prose, flawless mechanics.
4. The ability to teach others all of the above.
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Course Requirements

1. Attendance at all scheduled class meetings.
2. Completion of all assignments by the due date (see "English Department Policies"
    below).
3. Participation in class.
4. Completion of a final project in lieu of a final exam.
5. Timely arrival to class with required books, utensils, etc.


You will produce some or all of the following kinds of writing:
1. Original short fiction.
2. Critical notes (short essays) on model stories.
3. Short in-class reading quizzes.
4. In-class timed writings
5. Full-period mid-term exam.
6. A final project in lieu of a final exam

Grades will be determined as follows: 30% quizzes, mid-term exam, and critical notes, 50% original fiction, 20% final project.  (This is subject to change depending on our daily progress, how quickly the class can assimilate material, etc.)
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Texts

Bohner, Charles and Lyman Grant, eds. Short Fiction, Classic and Contemporary.Sixth Edition. Pearson-Prentice Hall, 2006.  

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English Department Policies


The English Department has standardized the following elements of the syllabus for all courses:  

English Department Policies
2017-2018 Academic Year

Late Work/Absence Policy
Announced Major Assignment Late Work, Missed Assessment due to excused absences:

If a student is “excused absent” from class(es) and misses graded work (quiz, test, presentation, in-class activity), he/she has X + 1 days to make up all required missed work for full credit.  If work is completed after the X + 1 time period, the work is to be accepted and the grade penalized 1/3 for each school day beyond the X + 1 period.  When the work is three or more school days late, the work is no longer acceptable for full credit.  Partial day absences, athletic activity, and field trips are included in this policy because they have been previously announced.

If a student has an excused, full-day absence on the day a long-term assignment (assigned one cycle or more prior to the due date) is due, the assignment is due the day the student returns to class.  If this expectation is met, the work is to be accepted for full credit.  If it is not, the late work guidelines apply as outlined above.

For unexcused absences, graded work is to be accepted for partial credit the day the student returns.  There is no “X + 1” policy.

On a point scale, the lowest score acceptable is a “50%” (not a “O”). 

If a student is present in class but simply fails to submit requested work, the teacher has the autonomy to accept 50% credit toward the assignment if the work is turned in at the following class meeting or no credit if the assignment is submitted beyond one class date.

In all cases, it is the student’s responsibility to consult with the teacher regarding missed work.  Failure to do so does not alter any of the above guidelines.  The teacher, likewise, has an obligation to respond to the student when this information is requested.

Individual teachers have the autonomy for discretion in consultation with the Department Chair, if deemed appropriate/necessary.    Daily homework is at the discretion of the individual teacher; the teacher will have no expectation/obligation to give credit for late homework.

Late work connected to academic honesty/integrity will be considered in consultation with the Department Head.

Academic Honesty and Integrity:

Samuel Johnson once said, "Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful." 

Academic integrity is more than just obeying the rules.   How you conduct yourself at LFA says a lot about the type of person you are; which speaks to your personal integrity and moral courage.  At Lake Forest Academy, academic integrity refers to your acknowledgment of and respect for the academic principles and behaviors that support the school's mission.  This includes:
• Completing your own work;
• Documenting your research (citing the work of others);
• Acting ethically and with integrity as you pursue your academic studies;
• Being responsible and taking responsibility for your actions;
• Learning from your mistakes; and
• Setting the example (being a good academic citizen).
Students enrolled in this course are expected to maintain school policies on academic honesty and integrity.  All work that you turn in should be yours.  Proper credit must be given to the ideas and work borrowed from or influenced by others.  Failure to do so may result in disciplinary actions according to school policy.   Review MLA style and the expectations for a Works Cited and Works Consulted listing.   You will review examples of what is and is not academic honesty and integrity at the beginning of each semester.

All students are required to act ethically and with integrity in academic matters and demonstrate behaviors that support academic values.  These behaviors may include, but are not limited to:
a. Completing one’s own original work;
b. Knowing and following the appropriate citation method in regards to the use
        of quotation marks and paraphrasing;
c. Collaborating appropriately (unless teamwork is permitted, it is prohibited);
d. Acknowledging the contribution of others (giving credit);
e. Ensuring that others do not use a student’s work inappropriately;
f. Acting ethically and with integrity while conducting research and in the
        reporting of research results; and
g. Following published examination rules and protocols

More on academic integrity, honesty, and plagiarism will be discussed in class.  Some written work may be required to be submitted through the cloud-based service Turnitin, which manages the submission, tracking, and evaluation of student work and originality.

If a student has become involved with an act of academic dishonesty, the teacher should speak with the offending student and notify the Department Chair.  Then, the student will be referred to the Dean of Student’s Office who will advise as to whether or not notification to the student’s advisor will be made.  The DOS and Advisor should not be spoken with until the teacher speaks with the student whose integrity is being challenged.   The DOS and the Discipline Committee will determine the institutional consequence for an academic honesty violation. 
The individual teacher should consult with the Department Head who will verify the academic consequence involved which will be based on the Department’s overall philosophy: 
• A Paper requires a New Topic assignment and must be rewritten (or will
receive a 0%). 
• Freshmen and sophomores can earn up to 70% credit for the rewrite
• Juniors and seniors will earn a maximum of 50% credit. 
• Tests, quizzes, and homework connected to Academic Dishonesty do not
have to earn any credit.
(Adapted from Brock University)

Retakes/Rewrites/Revisions

The English Department has a revision process philosophy that is not tied to your final paper grade.   Test retakes and in-class timed essay rewrites are not given. 

At the time a significant writing assignment is given, the teacher will highlight the writing process (brainstorming, drafting, revising, and final copy) along with accompanying deadlines (i.e., B3 for brainstorming, D4 for 1st draft, A1 for final copy).   During the writing process, you may seek support in-class, over cycle meetings with your teacher, with peer reviewers, and/or with the writing center.  Students may use an external reviewer but should be mindful of the school’s position on academic honesty and integrity.   Your classroom teacher may provide guidance and direction (i.e., review a paragraph for input and support) but will not be expected to provide “full paper” review until the time of submission.   The essence of your process is for you to demonstrate your capabilities.

Your teacher may provide feedback on your writing during the writing assignment’s process, may provide some revision suggestions and examples, and may provide an assessment tool for “needs improvement” (such as a checklist or rubric).  However, students are exempt from revisions after the final due date and will not be permitted to revise further.    A teacher’s grade will correlate with teacher comments and feedback at the time your writing is assessed.

Our philosophy is to encourage the process of writing—not the writing for a particular grade.    Use your brainstorming, drafting, and revising process time to get the necessary feedback you need to shape and improve your writing skills.   Students should submit their entire writing process (word maps, percolating, brainstorming, drafting, and revising) as part of their final submission.   Students should have evidence of their writing process and not indicate they revised “as they wrote.”  MLA expectations are held in Grades 9-12, which means including a Works Cited and Works Consulted page.  Further, students will also have in-class timed writings (revisions not permitted) to refine other types of writing skills.  

Papers connected to a final exam may constitute an exception and will be discussed with your individual teacher.

If merited, rewritten/revision work may be done on a case-by-case, exceptional basis.  This will be a rare occurrence due to extenuating circumstances.  The Department Chair will be consulted with individual questions and concerns.
Issues that might, from particular social, historical, or cultural viewpoints, be considered controversial, including references to ethnicities, nationalities, religions, races, dialects, sexualities, gender, or class, may be addressed in texts that have been deemed appropriate for LFA English courses. Fair representation of issues and peoples may occasionally include controversial material. Since LFA students have chosen a school that emphasizes citizenship, scholarship, responsibility, and character, participation in this course depends on a level of maturity consistent with students who have engaged in thoughtful analyses of a variety of texts.    (Adapted from the AP College Board)

Curriculum Queries

Issues that might, from particular social, historical, or cultural viewpoints, be considered controversial, including references to ethnicities, nationalities, religions, races, dialects, sexualities, gender, or class, may be addressed in texts that have been deemed appropriate for LFA English courses. Fair representation of issues and peoples may occasionally include controversial material. Since LFA students have chosen a school that emphasizes citizenship, scholarship, responsibility, and character, participation in this course depends on a level of maturity consistent with students who have engaged in thoughtful analyses of a variety of texts (Adapted from the AP College Board).   See page 21 of the LFA Student Handbook for further information or consult with the English Department Chair with concerns and questions about course materials.



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Syllabus
Assignment #, Due Date, Assignment

N.B.: Writers must write.  If you wish to become a good or even great writer of stories, you should write fiction, at least one page (typed), every night!  New fiction is due every A-day.  You will present your fiction anonymously every B-day.  I will give a quiz on most of the stories we read (see below).  You will brainstorm/write fiction/analyze assigned readings every day in class.  Bring a notebook, iPad, utensils, etc., every day!
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Cycle 1

Identifying Dramatic Objects, Conflict, Irony, and "The Source"

1. A-day, 8/29
Course overview
Discuss Things Fall Apart

2. B-day, 8/30 (double)
In-class: Timed Writing on Things Fall Apart
Discuss Things Fall Apart





3. D-day, 9/1
Discuss Things Fall Apart
Work on your personal timeline

4. E-day, 9/5
Finish Discussion of Things Fall Apart
Work on your personal timeline

5. G-day, 9/7
Read "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" (Handout) (Quiz?)
Work on your personal timeline


Cycle 2

Using Dramatic Objects, Developing Irony, Writing Core Images

5. A-day, 9/8
Discuss "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World"
Start brainstorming for images

6. B-day, 9/11 (double)
DUE:  one paragraph image (typed; hard copies to me)
In-class reading of your fiction
Start work on your next piece of fiction




7. D-day, 9/13
Read Dybek, "We Didn't" (handout)
In-class Reading of your fiction (if necessary)
Start work on your next piece of fiction



8. E-day, 9/14
Discuss Dybek, "We Didn't" (handout)
Work on your next piece of fiction

9. G-day, 9/18
Discuss Dybek, "We Didn't" (handout)
Work on your next piece of fiction


Cycle 3

Developing Irony, Establishing Setting, Using the Wisdom of Children and Outcasts 

10. A-day, 9/19
Finish discussion of Dybek, "We Didn't" (handout)
Submit your Cycle 3 fiction to Google Doc under your pseudonym or number

11. B-day, 9/20 (Double)
Deadline to submit your Cycle 3 fiction to Google Doc under your pseudonym or number!

Mr. Wick absent!!

In Class: Read Roth, "The Conversion of the Jews" (Handout)
Then compose a short (2-3 pages, typed) critical note analyzing some aspect or aspects of the fiction writer’s craft in the story.  For example, you might consider Roth’s use of setting and its relationship to character development, or the wisdom of children and the irony it creates.  Employ as many of the concepts and as much of the terminology that we have learned as possible.  Do not "interpret" the story's "meaning" or symbols.  Instead, analyze structure and craft and explain how those elements contribute to the story's development.  Quote the text for evidence.  Proofread!   



12. D-day, 9/22
Mr. Wick absent!!
Finish the assignment from B-day and e-mail your analysis to me.  If you finish early, start working on your next piece of fiction.  

13. E-day, 9/25
Bring "The Conversion of the Jews" (Handout) to class.
Work on your next piece of fiction.  
Have your textbook (SF) ready for use this week

14. G-day, 9/26
Read "Hills Like White Elephants" in SF




Cycle 4

Miniature Narratives, Psychology of Characters, Turning Off Your Left Brain, Writing after Meditation, Triangles

15. A-day, 9/28
Final Deadline to Submit Revised Fiction from Cycle 2!! 

16. B-day, 9/29
Catch up with in-class work-shopping of your fiction.





17. E-day, 10/3
Final Deadline to Submit Revised Fiction from Cycle 3!!
Read Allende, "And of Clay Are We Created," in SF, pp. 57-63 (Quiz!)

18. D-day, 10/4
Work on new fiction
In-class brainstorming

19. G-day, 10/6
Finish up work-shopping your fiction from last cycle
Begin reading Alexie, "Because My Father...Woodstock," in SF, pp. 50-55


Cycle 5

Structure of Stories, Dreams, Using Your Ethnic, Racial, Cultural Background

20. A-day, 10/10
Finish reading Alexie, "Because My Father...Woodstock," in SF, pp. 50-55 (Quiz!)



21. B-day, 10/12
View "The Cider House Rules" in class
Work on Response to Film (handout)

22. G-day, 10/13
View "The Cider House Rules"
Work on Response to Film (handout)

23. D-day, 10/17
Work on Response to Film (handout)

24. E-day, 10/18
Response to Film DUE!!!   Hard Copies, Please!


Cycle 6

Exploring the Inner Life of Characters

25. A-day, 10/20
In-class brainstorming
Work on new fiction



26. B-day, 10/23
Work on new fiction
Discuss Kincaid's "Girl" in class
Discuss The Cider House Rules (film) in class


27. D-day, 10/25
Work on final draft of response to The Cider House Rules (film)
Work on new fiction (2-3 pages).  Make it more complex!
In-class: Review format for critical papers. Review plagiarism rules.


28. E-day, 10/26
Work on final draft of response to The Cider House Rules (film)
Work on new fiction (2-3 pages).  Make it more complex!
In-class: Reading new fiction from textbook (Sontag, "The Dummy")

29. G-day, 10/30
DUE: final draft of response to The Cider House Rules (film)!
In-class: Reading new fiction from textbook (Sontag, "The Dummy")


Cycle 7

Using Archetypes as Models, Interior Monologues

A-day, 10/31
Submit your new fiction to Google Doc by midnight

B-day, 11/1
Workshopping New Fiction



G-day, 11/3
Start reading "Gimpel the Fool" in SF, pp. 1035-1044
Work on new fiction

D-day, 11/6
Finish reading "Gimpel the Fool" in SF, pp. 1035-1044 (quiz)
Work on new fiction

E-day, 11/7
Discuss "Gimpel the Fool" in SF, pp. 1035-1044
Work on new fiction


Cycle 8

Using Cultural/Religious Background of Characters, Presenting Violence

A-day, 11/10
Work on your new fiction (must be an interior monologue)

B-day, 11/13
Work on new fiction--interior monologue
In Class:  Workshopping your fiction





D-day, 11/15
DUE: Submit your new fiction (interior monologue) to Google Doc by Wednesday noon!
Begin reading O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" in SF

E-day, 11/16
Finish reading O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find" in SF (Quiz)





B-day, 11/20
Final Deadline for Revised Fiction from Cycle 7
Work on final project

G-day, 11/21
Read Faulkner, "Dry September" in SF


Cycle 9

A-day, 11/27
Language Dept. Day--Class will be covered
Read Faulkner, "Dry September" in SF
Work on Final Project

D-day, 11/29
QUIZ on Faulkner, "Dry September" in SF
Work on Final Project

E-day, 11/30
Finish Discussing Faulkner, "Dry September" in SF
Work on Final Project

G-day, 12/4
Bring SF to class
Work on Final Project


Cycle 10

A-day, 12/5
Final draft of Interior Monologues Due!
Bring SF to class
Work on Final Project

B-day, 12/6
In-Class Writing: Analysis of short story (TBD)

D-day, 12/8
Bring SF to class
Work on Final Project

E-day, 12/11
Bring SF to class
Work on Final Project

G-day, 12/13
Final Project Due!!!

My Quia activities and quizzes
Writing Short Fiction-Terms to Know
https://www.quia.com/jg/599012.html
Useful links
Last updated  2018/04/20 11:41:13 CDTHits  2049