Group A, the assignment is the same: identify at least five instances of distinct free-indirect narration, moments when you really hear a non-third-person voice muscle in. Then adapt those models to your purposes, and put the inspiration in a footnote. Please include enough of the text that the reader doesn’t have to resort to the book to get the gist of it.

For example, your story could include the sentence, “That was the year the sophomore class was assigned 1984. Frankie’s birth year, so you could never see someone’s pile of books without remembering.” And in your footnote: John Updike,Rabbit at Rest: “2001. Will he be alive?”

Develop something from your Week 1 in-class writing. Find the part that came easily, or with some energy, that seems the most potent or interesting to develop. Make sure there is a specific moment or movement that you are building on or toward: a conflict that comes to a head, a revelation, a shift in understanding. Fictionalize freely, but start with your own story (what Carrie Fisher calls “faction”).

If you wish to follow McInerney, Updike, Egan and Jalbert and work in the 2nd person, go for it.

As for length, this is more a question of shape than size. If you can bring your five footnoted free-indirect adaptations and a compelling arc or character movement in under 500 words, I salute you. If you can make 5000 words fly by so I don’t notice the length, bravo. But aim for something somewhere in the middle.

One last thing about the assignment I want to emphasize because it goes for all six: FOLLOW THE ASSIGNMENT. You could turn in something utterly beautiful and boiled down and publishable, but if it’s missing (in this case) the five footnoted free-indirect adaptations, or is manifestly far afield from your autobiography, I will praise its merits and apologize for marking it down. The assignments are specific exercises that are evaluated on how well they rise to a particular challenge, as much as on their intrinsic merit.

Below are the writers and, in parentheses, editors for the second installment of our first assignment. Please refer to the Course Handbook and carefully review the editor’s responsibilities (along with the rest of the document–LT212 has a lot of moving parts). Editors, in addition to preparing a crit for the writer, and presenting the work to the class, please also write out your thoughts and hand that to the writer for inclusion in the portfolio. That practice will also help you clarify your thinking about the work.

Loulou Oudshoorn (Acacia Mays)
Manon Aycoberry (Alona Cohen)
Olorin Etemad-Lehmer (Irina Bunčić)
Ronni Shalev (Joel Dombrower)
Wilma Ewerhart (Lola Jalbert)

Lindsay will pinch-hit in case of absence or illness.


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