Genre Description: Short Story Fiction

In order to help you select your preferred genre track option during registration, please find below a brief genre course description. To do that, think both of the genre you want to learn about and your own sense of adventure or desire for specific skills. Whether you come to practice, improve your skills or learn new ones, these courses are geared to help you grow, think, reflect and be inspired.

"You've Got Real Character: Characterization and Structure in the Contemporary Short Story"

Perhaps you've heard this before: if you create a memorable character, the plot naturally follows. If your characters are two-dimensional, however, the story and the plot suffer, and, your readers might be ready to give up after the first few paragraphs. How do writers such as Alice Munro, Edward P. Jones, Bonnie Jo Campbell, and Ben Fountain manage to pull off story after successful story? In part because their characters all seem ready to step off the page and confess to you their most closely held secrets. During our class meetings, we'll focus on aspects of interiority: how to deepen characterization and write with more insight into the motives, associations, and impulses that have led to your characters' actions. In addition, we'll spend some time discussing story structure, and focus on when in the story, for example, summary might be more useful than scene, and vice-versa.


Christine Sneed

Instructor of Creative Writing, Short Story faculty, Interlochen College of Creative Arts