CPW600

Introduction to Fiction

Fiction can be as short as a few lines or as long as a novel. It can be fantastic, or it can be realistic. But whatever its shape or size, the same essential parts are at work to make it a story.

In this introductory course, we will examine key elements of fiction: beginnings and endings, character, setting, plot and theme, transitions, and structure. We will also explore ways to tap into our most valuable assets: language and its power to tell a story that both entertains and convinces.

Photo by Sutherland Shire Libraries

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - Jen Sookfong Lee $299.88 8 Register
Online - Jen Sookfong Lee $299.88 12 Register

Instructional hours: 12

For campus-based courses, registration may close up to one week before the course begins.  

For online offerings, registration may close up to two business days before the course begins. Your course begins on the first date listed and ends six days after the last date listed. The interim dates/times are not your actual online class times.

Course schedule

  • Session 1: Introductions to forms and genres of fiction. Which is yours?
  • Session 2: The elements of fiction and how to identify them.
  • Session 3: Beginnings and the importance of opening lines. We'll also compare a plot map to a short story.
  • Session 4: Character, including point of view and character types.
  • Session 5: The importance of dialogue as well as what is unsaid.
  • Session 6: The language of writing, including the five senses, theme and tense, style and era.

What will I learn?

By the end of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Identify the elements of fiction and apply them to your own work
  • Breathe life into your writing through use of texture, depth and imagery
  • Create realistic characters and dialogue
  • Give and receive supportive feedback

How will I learn?

  • Course content will arrive via email
  • You will complete biweekly assignments online and email them to your instructor
  • Your instructor will provide comments and suggestions on each piece that you write
  • Your classmates will divide into smaller groups of writers, who will provide additional feedback to each other

How will I be evaluated?

A pass/fail grade will be based on your participation and assignments.

Textbooks and learning materials

The following textbook is required for this course. You may purchase it from the SFU Bookstore or at your local or online bookstore.

Hodgins, Jack. A Passion for Narrative: A Guide for Writing Fiction, revised edition, McClelland & Stewart, ISBN - 10: 0771041985, ISBN - 13: 9780771041983

 

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