Catalogue 2016 - 2017

ENGL 550 Fiction Workshop


3 cr.


Formal acceptance into graduate program.

Course Description

What is the purpose of analyzing a form? Comprehension of the form. Before you can create in a given form, you must struggle to know it, and re-reading is the first step toward such knowledge. To this end, we will read and study the work of masters in the short story. We will read the 19 century master of the short story, Anton Chekhov, then leap forward to 20th and 21st century stylists.

This course is a hands-on workshop in which you will learn how a story is made by doing it. We will begin with stories written in first person, which allows for direct representation of inner consciousness, and move on to third person and the use of free indirect style, one of most important aspects of fiction writing. We will work on how to balance dialogue and scene with exposition. We will discuss and analyze plot-lines, trace curves and arcs, try out alternate beginnings, find new endings, looking for the best shape to each your stories. And all along, you will practice writing a variety of sentences, from the simple to the complex, the interrupted to the periodic and labyrinthine.