In this class, we’ll explore “narrative density”—the interconnectedness, layered-ness, and weight of a work of fiction. We’ll walk through a sequence of specific, practical exercises in which we look to use the everyday complexity of ordinary life to enrich our fiction—we’ll consider the beautiful messiness of what our characters are “in the middle of” (in a big-picture sense and in a small-picture sense), “linger” on fertile elements of a draft, and bring lively narrative through-lines to the surface.
The goal will be for you to walk out of this class with a new tool for composition and revision, fresh ideas that you can immediately use, and revised/brand-new passages.
Joseph Scapellato is the author of the novel, The Made-Up Man, and the story collection, Big Lonesome. He was born in the western suburbs of Chicago and earned his MFA in Fiction at New Mexico State University. His fiction and nonfiction appear in Literary Hub, Electric Literature, North American Review, Kenyon Review Online, No Tokens, and other places. Joseph teaches in the creative writing program at Bucknell University and lives in Lewisburg, PA, with his wife, daughter, and dog.