Podcast #28: Bruce Holland Rogers

Podcast #28 is now available for download here.

This is part 2 of a two-part podcast. You can find part 1 in Podcast #27. In his guest lecture at Odyssey 2003, Bruce Holland Rogers discussed narrative theory and the importance of structure. Structure can provide a story with unity and can give an author direction. In this podcast, Bruce explains his own use of structure in flash fiction and continues his fascinating list of various structures that can work well for short stories and very well for short shorts. These include the story in which a character has an epiphany; the ethnographic story; the story that parodies a familiar short document; the story of a character interacting with another and changing direction; the story that’s like a picture that can be interpreted in two ways; the traditional story that is compressed; the story of thesis, antithesis, synthesis; the ellipsis that relies on the reader’s knowledge of the form, so he can fill in what’s missing; the suspense story predicated upon unusual attitudes or activities that puzzle the reader; the logical progression from an absurd premise; the story in which the thing that never happens, happens this one time; and the story that subverts an expected strategy or structure. Bruce discusses the requirements and goals of these various structures and provides examples from his own work.

Bruce Holland RogersBruce Holland Rogers has a home base in Eugene, Oregon, the tie-dye capital of the world. His fiction is all over the literary map. Some of it is SF, some is fantasy, some is literary. He has written mysteries, experimental fiction, and work that’s hard to label.

For six years, Bruce wrote a column about the spiritual and psychological challenges of full-time fiction writing for Speculations magazine. Many of those columns have been collected in a book, Word Work: Surviving and Thriving as a Writer (an alternate selection of the Writers Digest Book Club). He is a motivational speaker and trains workers and managers in creativity and practical problem solving.

He has taught creative writing at the University of Colorado and the University of Illinois. Bruce has also taught non-credit courses for the University of Colorado, Carroll College, the University of Wisconsin, and the private Flatiron Fiction Workshop. He makes frequent appearances at writer’s conferences. He is currently a member of the permanent faculty at the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA program, a low-residency program that stands alone and is not affiliated with a college or university. It is the first and so far only program of its kind. Bruce offers an annual subscription to his short stories, emailing out a story to subscribers every three weeks for a mere $10. You can find out more at www.shortshortshort.com.


For more information about Odyssey, its graduates and instructors, please visit our website at http://www.odysseyworkshop.org.

Podcast #27: Bruce Holland Rogers

Podcast #27 is now available for download here.

In his guest lecture at Odyssey 2003, Bruce Holland Rogers discussed narrative theory and the importance of structure. Structure can provide a story with unity and can give an author direction. In this podcast, Bruce explains his own use of structure and provides a fascinating list of various structures that can work very well for short stories or short shorts. These include the fable or parable, the expressionistic story, the fairy tale, and the character sketch. Bruce discusses the requirements and goals of these various structures and provides examples from his own work. This is part 1 of a two-part podcast. For more structures and examples, listen to part 2 in Podcast #28.

Bruce Holland RogersBruce Holland Rogers has a home base in Eugene, Oregon, the tie-dye capital of the world. His fiction is all over the literary map. Some of it is SF, some is fantasy, some is literary. He has written mysteries, experimental fiction, and work that’s hard to label.

For six years, Bruce wrote a column about the spiritual and psychological challenges of full-time fiction writing for Speculations magazine. Many of those columns have been collected in a book, Word Work: Surviving and Thriving as a Writer (an alternate selection of the Writers Digest Book Club). He is a motivational speaker and trains workers and managers in creativity and practical problem solving.

He has taught creative writing at the University of Colorado and the University of Illinois. Bruce has also taught non-credit courses for the University of Colorado, Carroll College, the University of Wisconsin, and the private Flatiron Fiction Workshop. He makes frequent appearances at writer’s conferences. He is currently a member of the permanent faculty at the Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA program, a low-residency program that stands alone and is not affiliated with a college or university. It is the first and so far only program of its kind. Bruce offers an annual subscription to his short stories, emailing out a story to subscribers every three weeks for a mere $10. You can find out more at www.shortshortshort.com.


For more information about Odyssey, its graduates and instructors, please visit our website at http://www.odysseyworkshop.org.

Podcast #22: Nancy Kress

Podcast #22 is now up at http://www.sff.net/odyssey/podcasts.html.  It is an excerpt from a lecture by award-winning author Nancy Kress, who served as writer-in-residence at the 2008 Odyssey workshop.  Nancy delivered a week of amazing lectures, provided in-depth feedback on student manuscripts, and met privately with students.  In this podcast, Nancy discusses writing in scenes, the concept that turned her own stories from non-salable to salable. Nancy explains that stories should be structured in scenes, and that each scene should have its own purpose. She breaks scenes into five modes of expression: dialogue, description, action, character’s thoughts, and exposition. Nancy explains why dialogue should be at the heart of almost all scenes. She also discusses the importance of the “surround”–the other four modes that are interspersed with the dialogue–and through a series of examples, illustrates how the dialogue and the surround interact to create meaning.

Nancy Kress Nancy Kress is the author of twenty-three books: three fantasy novels, eleven SF novels, two thrillers, three collections of short stories, one YA novel, and three books on writing fiction. She is perhaps best known for the “Sleepless” trilogy that began with Beggars in Spain. The novel was based on a Nebula- and Hugo-winning novella of the same name; the series then continued with Beggars and Choosers and Beggars Ride. The trilogy explores questions of genetic engineering, social structure, and what society’s “haves” owe its “have-nots.” In 2008 three Kress books will appear: a collection of short stories, Nano Comes to Clifford Falls and Other Stories (Golden Gryphon Press), and two novels, Steal Across the Sky (Tor) and Dogs (Tachyon).

Kress’s short fiction has won three Nebulas and a Hugo, and her novel Probability Space won the 2003 John W. Campbell Award. Her work has been translated into eighteen languages. She lives in Rochester, New York, with the world’s most spoiled toy poodle.