Oct. 11

Class Plans:

Virtual Class

Journal Prompts: 

Some characteristics of magical realism:

  • The blending of reality and magic until the edges are blurred. There is no separation between the real world and the magic world, like in Harry Potter. It involves a world similar to ours in which things we’d consider magical happen, but to the characters in the story, the happening is completely normal.
  •  No explanations of what causes the magical event/occurrence, or even necessarily an acknowledgement that anything out of the ordinary is taking place
  • Don’t restrict yourself – there doesn’t have to be any internal logic for the magical happenings – the goal is to blend reality and magic so completely that your reader can almost forget it’s not real

1) “What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you

remember it.”― Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Living to Tell the Tale)

Write a list of things you remember vividly that could not possibly have happened. Pick one of these situations, and write a list of the images you imagine go along with it. Take one of these images and elaborate, pushing past the logic of the original situation. Use this language to tell a story based on your memory, presenting the impossible as truth.

2) “It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate o of unrequited love.” ― Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)

Scent is more closely tied to memory than any of our other senses. Write about a situation in which a scent makes an individual think of something that happened a long time ago. Why does that scent make them think of that? How does it affect them even now? Try to link the scent and the memory together in a somewhat unexpected way, or involve magic elements.

3) “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to

remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice”

― Gabriel Garcia Marquez (One Hundred Years of Solitude)

Write about a situation in which a character discovers something new (to himself or herself), or who suddenly starts noticing little magical things showing up in his/her life – messages in bottles, little fireworks, anonymous presents, scenery changing inexplicably. What’s going on? What makes it new? What makes it out of the ordinary?

(Prompts via Carolyn Keller) 


Continue to check the Events page and watch for updates. Claudia Rankine will be at SUNY Cortland Wednesday and I’ve added other events as well.



Homework: Email me your flash fiction by midnight. Email it as a word attachment with the subject line: “[YOUR LAST NAME], Flash”.

Draft your fiction piece for next week. This is your second required genre in your portfolio. Bring 5 copies of your work to class Tuesday, Oct. 18 (not Thursday, Oct. 13)