Catalogue 2019 - 2020

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 students can create in a given form, they must struggle to know it, and re-reading is the first step toward such knowledge. To this end, students will read and study the work of masters in the short story. Students 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 students will learn how a story is made by doing it. Students 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. Students will work on how to balance dialogue and scene with exposition. They will discuss and analyze plot-lines, trace curves and arcs, try out alternate beginnings, find new endings, looking for the best shape to each story. And all along, students will practice writing a variety of sentences, from the simple to the complex, the interrupted to the periodic and labyrinthine.


ENGL 550 is repeatable for credit.