Form and Theory of Fiction

This course is split into two
parts. During the first half of the semester, students will study fiction
theory. We will discuss the elements of fiction (setting, character,
point-of-view, plot, and theme), basic story structure (story in three acts),
and the literary manifestos of experienced writers (John Gardner, Janet
Burroway, Tom Wolfe, and Elmore Leonard, to name a few). We will also look at
published short stories and novel excerpts to get a sense of what fiction is
and understand the versatility of the art form.

During the second half of the
course, student writing will be the content of the course. Students will write
their own fiction and present it to the class in a workshop setting (sixteen
pages, minimum). Our time will be devoted to in-class peer discussion of
student short stories or novel chapters.

Attendance is a must. Deadlines
are firm. Texts will be snatched from the Internet, so there’s no book to
purchase. Your grade will be based on participation, writing quality, and