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Mindsets in the Making of Fiction [Joshua Ferris]

All Levels | In my mind, there are at least two, clear-cut mindsets a writer might adapt (or blend) when writing fiction: “the top-down dream” and “the bottom-upscheme.” I’ll roughly sketch these two approaches while asking students to scrutinize their own fundamental mindsets when attempting to turn raw material into a crafted, finished piece of art, and how they might or might not conform to my two alternatives. This will require that we draw out how we do our work—from both the psychological and the practical angle—and will necessarily include some psychologizing of our intentions in order to better understand them and to write more effectively.