Jul 01, 2019

Fantasy Fiction

Ran Spring 2018 & Summer 2019

“The literature of imagination, even when tragic, is reassuring, not necessarily in the sense of offering nostalgic comfort, but because it offers a world large enough to contain alternatives and therefore it offers hope.”

—Ursula K. Le Guin

Fantastical literature is as ancient as story itself, yet still pervasive today. In the four thousand years between the Epic of Gilgamesh and A Game of Thrones, fantasy fiction has inspired the human imagination, given us the courage to battle our own demons, to brave the impossible, and to help us to understand in profound new ways what it is to be human.

This four-week course will include lecture, group discussion, in-class readings, and group exercises. Students will complete conceptually-oriented, take-home writing challenges, either examining and tweaking their own existing story-worlds or conjuring new ones, all from a big-picture perspective.Weekly progress on these exercises will be shared with the class for constructive feedback. Topics covered in the course will include the modern roots of fantasy and its branching sub-genres; the Hero's’ Journey universal story structure used from ancient myth to Hollywood; techniques and guidelines for magic and world-building, and how to keep fantasy fresh and relevant in a rapidly evolving world. Students of all levels are welcome.