Form and Theory of Fiction

Everything You Wanted to Know about Fiction*

 (*But Were Afraid to Ask)


What’s the difference between story and plot? What’s a round character? How do I pace a story? How do I choose between first or third person point of view for my narrator? What makes a story “good”?


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?


This course prepares fiction writers to analyze the elements of narrative craft (characterization, narrative structure, pace, etc) in the work of others, and to develop them in their own writing.


*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.”



Student Learning Objectives:


  • analyze the formal choices writers make
  • 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