Monday, September 02, 2013

Science Fiction / Fantasy Writing Program


While I usually write reviews or fiction, sometimes I try to do a little bit of something extra.  Part of writing is thinking outside the box, and Odin knows the only box I've ever been able to think inside of is a 1950s police box.  Add this to the fact that I tend to obsess over minor details and feel compelled to create lists several times a day, and it's only natural that eventually these things will start to overlap.

For some reason, people have been telling me ever since I was a high school student that it was virtually impossible to double minor as an undergraduate in college.  Naturally, I took this as a challenge, and the only surprising thing that I faced when writing this was that...it was so easy.

Of course, that doesn't explain why I came up with a course plan for a major and a double minor.  The premise is simple: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Program.  The idea is that anybody who completes this course program will have received instruction in creative writing - specifically, fiction writing - as well as taking in enough knowledge to write stories about speculative fiction and fantasy.  

While there are a lot of routes to take to get here, I felt that the most universal choices for this were Physics and Religious Studies.  While there are a lot of types of science used in Science Fiction, but while speculative biology (for example) is more imaginative, physics is more likely to be utilized in a serious manner.  Religious Studies, on the other hand, assists in forming the mindset of most Fantasy characters.  Most Fantasy settings either make use of real or fictional religions, and even if you choose not to go this route, the concepts behind various religions are filled with fuel for believable myths and legends.  The electives were chosen in much this same way.  Interaction between different characters and different cultures is an integral part to writing Fiction - as is, of course, the ability to write it into a script.

The courses here were chosen using the Catalogue for Western Connecticut State University, the university right down the street from my house.  This catalogue changes from year to year, and will differ drastically from college to college.  However, WestConn was still effective for this thought exercise and this can definitely serve as a model for anybody who wishes to implement this idea into their own studies.

Creative Writing Major

Core (12 S.H.)
WRT 171W: Craft of Writing I: Conversations with Predecessors
WRT 172W: Craft of Writing II: Conversations with Contemporaries
WRT 273W: Craft of Writing III: Writing Identity
WRT 274W: Craft of Writing IV: Form and Inspiration


Required Upper-Division Courses (16 S.H.)
LNG 317: Linguistics or LNG 320: Modern English Grammar
WRT 333W: The Editorial Environment
WRT 373W: Editing and Copyediting
WRT 442W: Publication Design and Development
WRT 465W: Thesis Project


Menu Courses (6 S.H.)
WRT 276W: Writing about Human Tragedy
WRT 303W: Composition III: Advanced Research Writing


Creative Writing Option (14 S.H.)
WRT 219W Writer’s Toolbox
WRT 271W Human Interest Writing
WRT 339W Creative Essay
WRT 462W The Book: From Writing to Publishing
WRT 490W Internship.


Physics Minor (20 S.H.)
PHY 110 General Physics I
PHY 111 General Physics II
PHY/ENV 136 Energy OR PHY 299 Student Developed Studies
PHY 170 Concepts of Electronics
PHY 171 Introduction to Digital Electronics

Religious Studies Minor (18 S.H.)
HUM 113 Comparative Religions
PHI 202 Philosophy of Religion
PHI 218 Introduction of Asian Philosophy
SOC/ANT 232 Religion and Culture
SOC/ANT 241 Socio-Cultural Survey of Indian Religions
SOC/ANT 242 Buddhism and Culture

General Education (42 S.H.)

Communication Skills (3 S.H.)
COM 163 Living in Communication

Humanities (15 S.H.)
HUM 113 Comparative Religions*
PHI 202 Philosophy of Religion*
WRT 171W: Craft of Writing I: Conversations with Predecessors*
WRT 172W: Craft of Writing II: Conversations with Contemporaries*
ENG 105 Introduction to Fiction

Social and Behavioral Sciences (12 S.H.)
SOC/ANT 232 Religion and Culture*
SOC/ANT 242 Buddhism and Culture*
PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology
PSY 205 Social Psychology

Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Computer Science (10 S.H.)
PHY 110 General Physics I*
PHY 111 General Physics II*
PHY 170 Concepts of Electronics*
MAT 110

Health Promotion and Exercise Science (2 S.H.)
HPX 177 Fitness for Life Lecture and Activity

Electives (21 S.H.)
WRT 133W Introduction to Writing FictionCOM/1NT 208 Intercultural Communication
COM 242 Script Writing
ANT/WS 236: Culture, Sex and Gender
WRT 243 Fiction Workshop

Total Credits: 122

4 comments:

Mulluane said...

No wonder you think outside the box!

Your box runneth over...

I'm afraid I'd have to skip:
HPX 177 Fitness for Life Lecture and Activity.

I'd be too tired from running between classes.

William Silvia said...

Unfortunately, you can't graduate from the university this is based on (or any that I've actually looked closely at) without it.

Charles Gramlich said...

I also double minored in college, biology and philosophy. Was indeed pretty easy.

Reid Kemper said...

I double minored as well -- in English and Religion -- to go with my major in Journalism. I had planned to get a double major in Journalism and English but had some conflicts, then tried to graduate a semester early, but one of the classes I needed skipped a year. I wish there was a science fiction program. I'm now seeking a master's in publishing.