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 has been writing since she learned her ABCs. Her love of stories and storytelling was fostered by her grandmother who read to her daily. Melissa received her MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Seattle Pacific University and is now working on two short story collections. She has taught at a variety of universities since 2005, and currently teaches literature and fiction writing classes online for Southern New Hampshire University. Originally from Pennsylvania, she now lives on the Gulf Coast with her husband, three cats, and Monty, her ball python.