ConversationWriting a fiction: Narrator: Listen to a conversation between a student and his creative writing professor. Professor: Hi, Kane.We missed you on Thursday. Student: Sorry I couldn't make the class, Professor Bennett. But I was out of town. Did I miss a lot? Professor: You'll be fine. But I paired students so as to co-write an epistolary fiction. You'll be working with Brian Simpson. Since he was also absent, so get in touch with him soon, OK? Because between the two of you, you'll be writing about pages total, a story. Um, you're quick with epistolary literary form, right? Student: Yeah. An epistolary piece is made up of letters. I'm ... last year I wrote a paper on democracy in the United States and I used a book called Letters of Henry Adams. He was a journalist and historian who lived in late 1800s and early 1900s, and some of his letters in that book discussed his democratic ideals. Professor: Letters of Henry Adams. But remember that book is nonfiction. Those were actual letters written by only one writer, Henry Adams. Your assignment for my class is to write a story through exchange of letters between two fictional characters. So fist you and Brian will have to decide what relationship your characters will have, best friends, brothers, whatever. And then develop a story. Now your classmates, Debbie and Maria. Debbie's gonna play the role of a rock and roll singer and Maria her agent, um back in the 1950s. Those characters could be a good choice for them since Debbie and Maria are both big fans of early rock and roll and know a lot about it. Student: Oh, I see. Okay. What about coworkers? Like my character can work part-time in the student employment office, like I do, and maybe he could exchange emails with his officemate or something, like Kane could email to Brian. Could i borrow your pencil and they're sitting in desks right next to each other. That could be funny. Professor: Okay. But you know I've recently read an epistolary novel consisting only of emails. It's called Fast Office. Student: Fast Office. Professor: Yeah. It's said in an accounting firm and it's filled with office politics, comments about technology. Anyway the concept of Fast Office actually had potential, but ultimately it was more like an endless stream of disjointed remarks. I mean talk about its thin plot. Student: Huh. Professor: But that doesn't mean you and Brian couldn't make an email exchange work. There is another epistolary novel called Life on the Refrigerator Door and it comprises just notes that a mother and daughter leave for each other, attached to their refrigerator door. And what isn't expecting much but through these short notes, the characters manage to tell us a good story and convey their love and concern for each other in a really powerful way.