Author of Portrait of Sebastian Khan. Mr. Rashid has published short stories in The Massachusetts Review, Metaphorosis, Arcturus, and Barrelhouse; and nonfiction in The Los Angeles Review of Books, as well as online on Medium. He currently writes regularly for The Kenyon Review blog.
While the most strident of postmodernists might have argued that a novel or story is nothing more than a set of words on a page, most of us who read fiction understand that these words can convey powerful emotions, vivid sensory experiences, and profound social and political insights. My goal as an instructor is to help students understand how writers create this connection between words and reality, whether it’s through complex characters, rich and detailed settings, plots with conflict and tension, or meaningful commentaries on our world. Ultimately, I don’t think fiction writing is the result of any innate talent—like any form of art, it can learned with the right combination of hard work and inspiration.