Staging Fiction from Inside and Outside Character with Ann Cummins

01/22/2011 - 9:00am - 12:00pm

In his book From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction, Robert Olen Butler describes a technique for inhabiting character. He suggests that we imagine a camera inside character that choreographs setting from each character's peculiar emotional state. In this class we will survey works by Anton Chekhov, Annie Proulx, Penelope Fitzgerald and others, discovering how the camera lens changes with varied points of view. We’ll also draw on Charles Baxter's essay, “Loss of Face,” discussing how and when writers draw or omit facial detail in portraying character. In a writing exercise drawn from the readings and discussion, students will have the opportunity to explore techniques for inhabiting character and will share their experiments in an informal workshop setting.

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Ann Cummins
Ann Cummins

Ann Cummins is a short-story writer and novelist whose writing has been published in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, and The Best American Short Stories 2002. She is the author of Red Ant House: Stories (2003) and...

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Register for classes and workshops at our website, over the phone at (520) 626-3765, or in person at the Poetry Center’s reception desk. Checks should be made payable to the University of Arizona Foundation and are not considered a tax-deductible contribution. A $25 processing fee will be applied to all cancelled registrations.

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