We don’t create . . . to escape . . .

We don’t create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay.

~Lynda Barry

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Work to be influenced

[F]or the practicing artist influence requires a more active engagement. We must work to be influenced, not merely wait.

~ Margot Livesay

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You have to finish things . . .

You have to finish things — you learn by finishing things.

~Neil Gaiman

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Criteria

Is it fiction? Is it interesting? Will the reader want to begin the story? Will the reader want to finish the story? Is the author’s discipline evident in the editing? Is it a finished product?

~Unknown

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The writing has to stand for itself

If the writing is unclear, we’ll read it a second time and make it clear to ourselves and then let the writer off the hook, when, in fact, the writing has to stand for itself . . .  You want to work on the writing until it is good enough that the writer doesn’t have to be in the room explaining and interpreting.

~Wally Lamb

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What we expect

[It] does what we expect the work of our best writers to do: reflect our world from a surprising perspective so that we might better see its beauty and contradictions, it comforts and aches.

~Paul Temblay

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Fiction is the art form of human yearning

Fiction is the art form of human yearning. That is absolutely essential to any work of fictional narrative art—a character who yearns. And that is not the same as a character who simply has problems. . . . The yearning is also the thing that generates what we call plot, because the elements of the plot come from thwarted or blocked or challenged attempts to fulfill that yearning.

~Robert Olen Butler

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To describe the world . . .

To describe the world more fully is to change it. To let the world go undescribed is, in some way, not to know it, at one’s own peril.

~Elif Batumann

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A true work of fiction . . .

A true work of fiction does all of the following things, and does them elegantly, efficiently: it creates a vivid and continuous dream in the reader’s mind; it is implicitly philosophical; it fulfills or at least deals with all of the expectations it sets up; and it strikes us, in the end, not simply as a thing done but as a shining performance.

~John Gardner, “What Writers Do”

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2250 Final exam Fall 2019

The final exam is worth fifteen points. The late paper policy as described by the syllabus applies to the final exam. Turn the exam in by emailing it to me before it is due. It is due by the end of the final exam period. Be sure to include your name, “2250,” and the phrase “final exam” in the subject line of the email.

For the final exam, submit a set of poems and one short story for publication and document those submissions. As you are researching venues for publication, be sure to select venues that are likely to publish your work. Pick publications that will email you an acknowledgment of your submission. Most will do so automatically, but receiving an acknowledgement is your responsibility. For the final, email a copy of each acknowledgment to me following the guidelines above. Newpages.com can help you find venues for publication. Submittable.com is often a part of the submission process, as I demonstrated in class.

If you have questions about this final, please contact me.

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