Form and Theory of Fiction


ENG 413 Form and Theory of Fiction (3): Narrative techniques for students interested in writing fiction.

*This is not a writing workshop.* This course is designed as a preparation for Eng 414 Fiction Workshop, and as such is “form and theory for writers.”


This course prepares fiction writers to analyze the

elements of narrative craft (characterization, narrative structure, setting,

pace, etc) in the work of others, and to develop them in their own writing.


How do our ideas/theories about fiction and its purpose inform the material manifestation (form) of our fiction? What role does our historical context play in the fiction of our time and place? How can we manipulate fictional form to realize our own intentions in apparent and subtle ways?


As a class we will read and discuss important works of short fiction, and essays on style and the philosophy of fiction.



keeping a reading and writing journal

presentation on a work from your reading list

short writing exercises and projects

one or two short fiction pieces



full attendance

involvement in class discussion

completion of all assignments


This course aims to help you to:


analyze the formal choices writers make

consider why these choices are made

develop of a habit of writing

try out a range of prose techniques

follow a process of drafting fiction

expand your practice of the methods and vocabularies of the writing workshop


Readings: TBA