CLARA SOHN REHOR: CRAFT ESSAY REQUIREMENTS:
This is an essay on the CRAFT of writing. As you read the book, read it as a writer. This is not a book report. No plot summaries, no evaluations about how good or bad the book was, no general critical analysis.
In 3-4 pages (12point, Times Roman, Double Spaced #”d Pgs) write about an element of craft that interests you. This book is a collection of stories. You are only required to read 3. You may choose the 3 stories you wish to write about as I hope this will result in a more successful essay.
Most of the collections are written by the same author, If they are not, then examine how each writer handles the element of craft you choose to write about…how the second writer handles that craft element, then examine how the third writer handles that craft element. You can use more than three stories if you wish, but don’t go over 4 double-spaced pages for any essay.If, for example, you choose to write about dialogue, write about how the book in question has things to teach you about dialogue. If you choose to write about exposition and backstory, write about the lessons you learned about that from the book in question. If you’re writing about establishing setting, write about how the book in question that taught you things about setting. And so on.
Stick to the SINGLE element you’re examining. For future reference: You may not write about the same element twice. Only one different element per essay.
Do not consider the three stories as one collective piece of writing. That could become weird, especially if they were by three different writers (IF you’re talking about an anthology with multiple authors). Also, I wouldn’t specify a length requirement for dealing with each story, because you may have more to say about one writer than another. But yes, write about the stories separately–examine how the writer you’ve chosen handles the particular craft element in each story.
Please remember: This is not about what you “think” about the stories. Basically, you’re setting up a line of inquiry and analysis about a specific aspect of craft,*not* writing about your emotional response to it.
No other references are required—but most definitely and absolutely do use quotes from the stories in the book you are writing about to illustrate the element of craft you are “dissecting”. And, if you wish—Janet Burroway: Writing Fiction: A Guide To Narrative Craft (which is, probably, a good book to refer back to as you write this essay anyway).
The book is:
Raymond Carver; This is What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.