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Friday, April 6 • 3:45pm - 5:00pm
4B: Essentials of Style FULL
Limited Capacity full

Vladimir Nabokov once remarked, “style and structure are the essence of a book. Great ideas are hogwash.”

This session will begin by posing the questions, “What is style?" and "How does the writer cultivate it?" Is style 'le mot juste,' the elegant turn of phrase, the startling epithet, the apt figure of speech? What about pauses, predicates, parallel structures, and punctuation? Is adherence to the "House style" a blessing or curse? How and when does style become manifest: through imagining, close listening, composing, or editing? What does it mean to the long form, the short? Can the writer 'improve' her style or only suffer the style she was born with? What is the role of influence-those authors we admire-and absorb, deliberately or unknowingly? If style emanates from your own being, as Katherine Anne Porter wrote, then variations are infinite.

We will examine some of the most vivid examples of prose style from the literary stars of our time, as well as the bright and wavering constellations of ages gone by; I’ll then introduce methods and exercises that writers can use to tease out their individual styles, when simple “emanations” elude us.

avatar for Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Fiction and Non-fiction Writer
Nicole Miller has published essays in New Letters (Dorothy Cappon Prize, 2014; Best American Essays, Notable 2016) and Arts & Letters. Her fiction has appeared in The May Anthologies, edited by Jill Paton Walsh and Sebastian Faulks, and Abundant Grace, ed. Richard Peabody.  After... Read More →

Friday April 6, 2018 3:45pm - 5:00pm EDT
Gloucester Room - 4th Floor