Form and Theory of Fiction

English 413
designed to be an intensive study of the art of fiction writing. We will spend
a good part of the course studying the elements of fiction, fiction techniques,
and approaches to storytelling. We will be doing exercises suggested by the
readings, exercises that are geared to help us find our potential stories.
Assuming we acquire a more acute awareness of the juggling act we often need to
perform—involving point of view, tone, character development, management of
time and place, of scene and summary, and more—we will strive to come up with not
only coherent, but inspired prose.

About halfway
through the course we will begin a deliberate shift toward WORKSHOP mode, where we critique each
other’s submitted drafts. It is one thing to offer criticism of a classmate’s
work (and a good thing as well); but we can only improve as writers by applying
these same critical skills toward our own work. The time we spend outside of
class revising our work is the true test of how important it is for us to tell our
stories well.

The class is
discussion-based, workshop-oriented, and handouts are given out regularly.

Course Requirements

• Attendance
and Participation

In-class exercises

Story drafts for workshopping

• Final
drafts totalling16-30 pages of polished prose

Texts (available through
Revolution Books, 2626 S. King Street)

• Junot
Diaz, Drown

• Tim
O’Brien. The Things They Carried

Also, a course reader (available at Professional
Image, 2633 S. King Street)