Fiction I — Syllabus

Introduction to Fiction: The different types and forms of fiction. Where to find inspiration and ideas. The importance of craft.

Character: Where to find characters. Making characters dimensional through desire and contrasts. Creating character profiles. Showing vs. Telling. Methods for showing characters.

Plot: Finding a major dramatic question. Shaping a beginning, middle, and end. The difference between short story and novel plots. Pros and cons of outlining.

Point of View: POV defined. Exploration of the many types of POV.

Description: Using the senses. Specificity. Techniques for creativity. Finding the right words. Merging description with point of view.

Dialogue: The importance of scene. Dialogue's illusion of reality. Quotation marks and tags. Stage directions. Summarized dialogue. Characterization through dialogue. Subtext. Dialect.

Setting/Pacing: Time. Place. Weather. Description of setting. Merging character and setting. How to manipulate time through pacing. Flashbacks.

Voice: Voice defined. Exploration of the various types of voice. Tips for finding your voice. Understanding style—syntax, diction, and paragraph length.

Theme: Theme defined. Types of theme. Weaving theme into a story.

Revision: Exploration of the various stages of revision.

The Business: Proper format for manuscripts. How to target publishing houses, literary magazines, and agents. Query letters.

Note: Content may vary among individual classes.