Introduction to Prose: Seminar Overview


Elegant, clean prose is as rare as hen's teeth. To construct good prose, we also need to understand how to deconstruct it — while it's one thing to write good prose, it's an entirely different thing to understand what makes it good.

No one will master prose in the span of one seminar. Instead, our aim is to gain an 'awareness' of how prose can be deconstructed and reconstructed to achieve certain effects. We'll develop an understanding of how the reader interprets prose, and how we can alter its impact without altering its meaning (but sometimes, we'll alter its meaning, too).

To do this, we'll look at several excerpts of prose I've selected. As a group, we'll deconstruct these excerpts, then reconstruct them with a specific goal in mind — thereby examining how different configurations of prose achieve certain effects.


  • What is 'prose'? (5 minutes)
  • Why is it important?

Part 1:

  • Relevant details
    • secondary detail
  • Detail
  • Detail
  • etc

Part 2 - Part 2 Title

  • etc

Part n - Conclusion

  • Go over topics you have covered briefly, in a summary
  • Link any resources you think are applicable
  • Assure participants they can come to you if they have any questions
  • Take questions
  • Thank everyone for coming

Essays by a Hack: Writing Tales
Essays by a Hack: Sentence Clauses
Elements of Style (Revised, 2008)
Grammer Bytes!
Rules for Comma Usage

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