R229. The Zeno's Paradox of Scene Writing and Other Strategies for Teaching Fiction

Room 213, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Thursday, March 5, 2020
1:45 pm to 3:00 pm


An analogy can convey the craft of fiction better, and quicker, than painstaking analysis. Each of us has our own go-to metaphors for how narrative works, whether we compare the challenge of scene writing to Zeno’s paradox, use Constable’s painting of a river to capture anticipation, compare author and narrator to driving instructor and driver, or ask why our main character wants a ham sandwich. This panel will unspool a cluster of analogies and explore their potential for transmitting craft.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Zenos_Paradox_panel_outline.docx



Lucy Ferriss is the author of ten books, mostly fiction. Her novel A Sister to Honor was a 2015 WNBA Great Group Read. Recent work appears in Arts & Letters, the American Scholar, and weekly at the Chronicle of Higher Education's Lingua Franca. She is writer-in-residence at Trinity College.

Eric Goodman is the author of five novels, including Twelfth and Race, Child of My Right Hand, and In Days of Awe. He's the founder of the Low-Residency MFA at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Susan Straight's new memoir is In the Country of Women. She has published eight novels, including A Million Nightingales, Between Heaven and Here, and Highwire Moon. She is critic at large for the Los Angeles Times, and Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at University of California, Riverside.

Michael Jaime-Becerra is the author of Every Night Is Ladies' Night, a collection of stories awarded a California Book Award, and This Time Tomorrow, a novel awarded an International Latino Book Award. He also teaches creative writing at UC Riverside.

Susanne Davis is author of a short story collection, The Appointed Hour. She is a visiting assistant professor of creative writing at Hope College and holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center