Form and Theory of Fiction


This course will meet in person on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:00am – 10:15am, in KUY 408.


ENG 413 focuses on the narrative techniques of writing fiction. In the first third of the term we’ll study common structures of the short story genre, with special attention to finding a nucleus, selecting a point of view and perspective, and using a clock to help develop narrative arc. In the second third we’ll move into experimentation and “rule breaking” forms, and we’ll borrow trends from genres such as creative nonfiction, flash, and hybrid in order to nuance the narrative rules we established early on. In the last third of the term we’ll focus on revision and re-envisioning, as well as further understanding the modes of thinking and writing that best suit the stories we wish to tell.

Developing a community of writers, as well as understanding the trust and attention needed to offer feedback on one another’s work, is key to this course. As such, paired and small-group work with your peers will happen via discussion forums and in-class editorial exchanges. Be prepared to share your writing with your peers and learn from their writing as well.

Prerequisites: ENG 313 or instructor approval.


Readings will be distributed for free as PDF files on Laulima.