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Monday, Dec. 3

December 3, 2012

Argument: We had a short quiz on pseudoproofs. Wednesday: sparring. Be ready! (Also be ready to talk about your final argument — I’ll hopefully pass out the guidelines them.)

Bookbinding: Continued working on the current project(s). Please make sure that you’re thinking about your final projects!

Act One: Today we watched this documentary on Tennessee Williams:

There’s stuff I would like you to know from this doc — his three major plays; the influence of his family life on his writing; his pioneering use of out-of-the-norm themes in drama. Watch it if you weren’t here!

Then I collected the character sketches for the new delusion one-act you’re going to write this week. Bring them back Wednesday as we proceed with “DelusionFest 2012,” which will conclude next Monday with run-throughs of all your new delusion one-acts (which will be due then, as well).

P.S. Extra credit alert: there’s a famous person named “Candy” who appears in one of Williams’ drunken press conferences from the early ’70s. If you can identify this person, there might be a point or two of extra credit on some future assessment.

P.P.S. As a bonus:

BatCat: Handmade Arcade is on Saturday. Please talk to your parents and to each other to see if you can get a ride in. It’s from 11am to 7pm at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Go to for more details.

Stephen King:  Quiz today on pages 34-87 of Tom Gordon. We also discussed the essay “My Stephen King Problem” and introduced (or reviewed, at least), these terms:

Literary fiction: A style of fiction in which literary value is paramount. May incorporate bits of other genres, but does not follow the guidelines of any specific genre.
Genre fiction: A style of fiction that falls into a particular literary genre (horror, romance, Western, etc.) and usually follows the guidelines of that particular genre. There may some crossing of literary genres (like, say, Twilight).
Exposition: Scene-setting/description. Usually slows down the pace of a story. Can get tedious when there’s too much of it at once.
In medias res: Latin for “In the middle of things.” It means beginning a piece in the middle of the action, and sorting out the details later.

For Wednesday: bring your story stuff, or I will make you rewrite the whole thing from the beginning.

From Monday: read pages 88-152 in Tom Gordon.

Survey: Fiction: Today we took a quiz and then talked about Tobias Wolff’s Bullet in the Brain, which employs the techniques of time manipulation that we discussed on Friday (get notes from a classmate if you were absent). Good talk.

Your assignment for Friday is a writing assignment: pick something that you want to write about and identify the tone or atmosphere that the idea carries (for example, I want to write about a breakup, and the tone would be depressing/lonely). What you are to do is to write about this topic by writing about what it is not (similar to the end of the short story we discussed today). Don’t mention the thing directly; write about what it isn’t. You got a big notecard – if you fill up one side, you’ve done enough (but you can do more if you want. Also, typing would be AWESOME). Due at the beginning of class on Friday; there may be some time to share.

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