Conference Schedule 2019
Saturday, February 23, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Establishing the Terms: Story and Novel Openings as Contracts with Jennine Capó Crucet
Date(s): Saturday, February 23, 2019, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Location: Heritage, University Club (view map)
Genre and Form(s): Fiction, Mixed Genre, Novels, Short Stories
Tags: Plot, Openings, Narration, Narrative, Story, Character, Tone
About the Session
One could argue that the first few paragraphs of any work of short fiction establish a contract with the reader: they telegraph tone, character, and even—when exceptionally on point—the trajectory of the story's action. When done well, openings say, "Here are the terms, now you know what you're in for." In this session, we'll examine the opening moves from several short stories (and maybe a novel or two) to see how they establish a (sort of) contract with the reader, and we'll identify the techniques used and how to deploy them ourselves when writing/revising our own stories and novel openings.