Posted July 2017

Fixing Flabby Fiction: A Closer Look at Narrative Structure


Is your fiction flabby? Prose a bit paunchy? Do your characters wander aimlessly? If so, then join us for a closer look at narrative structure. Narrative structure is more than simply plot, moving characters from Point A to Point Z. In this webinar, we’ll take a closer look at how narrative structure works, how to use structure to increase tension, and how narrative structure can—and should—also reveal and develop character. We’ll explore the 4-stage model of narrative structure by taking a detailed look at William Carlos Williams’ short story “The Use of Force” and we’ll discuss how this looks in a novel by reviewing the narrative structure of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Event Materials

Fixing Flabby Fiction: Narrative Structure

Melissa Gardner explains narrative structure, using the four-stage model of exposition, complication, climax, denouement. For the majority of the webinar, she analyzes four-stage model elements of William Carlos Williams' short story "The Use of Force" and J.K. Rowling's HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER's STONE. (50 min 39 s)

About Lecturer

About Melissa Gardner

Melissa Gardner lives on the Gulf Coast with her husband and two cats. When she isn’t writing, she works as a reference librarian at a local community college and teaches creative writing classes online. Her most recent work has appeared in the Strangelet Journal, Altarworks, Hypnopomp, and Page & Spine.