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An update from the twenty-first Writing Workshop with Conner Bassett

A summary of the workshop held on Saturday November 13

To continue with students' workshop requests, this week we revisited an older topic: plot vs. narrative. We began with four exercises to be revisited later, writing down the thing that scared us most, the first sentence of a novel, a list of unrelated things, and a time that we lied when we shouldn't have. To begin lecture, we considered the fact that while all plots are narratives, not all narratives are plots. Following this, we distinguished narrative as a general term that encompasses all stories, and whose events are incidental as well as connected by the conjunction “and.” Plot, however, was how a story is told, meaning that events follow “and so,” leading to a deliberate beginning, middle and end. We then discussed the significance of plot, how it provides a narrative with inevitability, connectivity, and consequence through its ability to imbue every individual action with meaning. Then, at the end, we played a game of "is it plot, or is it narrative?" with examples such as "The Dinosaur" by Augusto Monterroso, Ernest Hemingway's famous six word short story, "Small Child" by Stephen Tuttle, and "Dog and Me" by Lydia Davis.

The Challenge: Transform any of the first four exercises you did (thing that scares you most, first sentence of a novel, list of unrelated things, a time you lied when you shouldn't have"

The Participants: Nova, Lina, Josh, Emma, Penelope, Clara, Ellie, Simran, Alice B., Svitra, Sinan, Olivia, Audrey

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