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Introduction to Writing Fiction

Course Code: CRWR 1103
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Creative Writing
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Tutorial
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course concentrates exclusively on the process of writing fiction. It includes instruction in character development, structure, and craft. A range of narrative styles will be discussed through a study of various fiction texts. Fiction produced by the students will be read and discussed by the instructor and students in a workshop environment.

Course Content

Students’ manuscripts will form the bulk of the course content.

Published texts, including short stories and/or one short contemporary novel.

Methods of Instruction

Classes will be conducted in the workshop format. The following may be combined with the workshop:

  • lectures and discussions
  • small group work
  • assigned reading and class presentations
  • interviews with instructor

Means of Assessment

Students are evaluated on the basis of four assignments submitted for class discussion; these may include a dialogue, a character study or portrait, a short story, and an opening chapter (and synopsis) of a novel, or free writing, all of which will count for a minimum of 60% of the course grade. Other evaluations will include class participation, in-class assignments, self-evaluation of submitted material, in-class writing assignments, participation in the workshop and/or a report on a published story and/or a fiction reading attended during the term.

Students are required to attend 80% of the workshops. A student missing more than 20% of the workshops without receiving prior permission from the instructor will receive a 0 in Class Participation. Leaving after the break is considered half an absence.

Learning Outcomes

General Objectives:

The student will become familiar with the narrative elements of the short story and the novel. The student will use these elements in constructing work, which will be presented for in-class discussion.

Specific Objectives:


  1. The student will learn how plots and characters are constructed.
  2. The student will learn to recognize through reading special problems, such as story beginnings, middles, and endings and the opening chapter of a novel.
  3. The student will consider personal experience and learn how this experience can be used in writing fiction.


  1. The student will learn how to create dramatic tension.
  2. The student will recognize a variety of different modern and traditional forms and learn to use these forms in his fiction.
  3. The student will learn to develop writing habits consistent with the production of quality, written work.
  4. Over the term, the student will produce readable, well-structured fiction.


  1. The student will read the work of published fiction writers to discover how those writers deal with problems of craft and form.
  2. The student will learn to adapt and use the narrative techniques discovered in published works of fiction.
  3. By participating in the workshop, the student will develop the critical skills necessary to judge the effectiveness of written work.


  1. The student will recognize the value of revision as an essential writing process.
  2. The student will evaluate critical suggestions from instructor and peers, and incorporate these into the revised fictions.

course prerequisites

Any College entrance Language Proficiency Requirement with the exceptions of the Douglas College Course Options in ELLA or ENGU and the assessments listed below. These require the specified higher standard for entry into CMNS, CRWR and ENGL courses.

  • a minimum grade of C- in ELLA 0460, or a minimum grade of C- in both ELLA 0465 and 0475, OR
  • a minimum grade of C- in ENGU 0450 or ENGU 0455 or ENGU 0490, OR
  • Mastery in ELLA 0330 and any two of ELLA 0310, 0320, or 0340, OR
  • TOEFL overall score of 83 with a minimum of 24 in Writing, OR
  • IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0, OR
  • CLB score of 8, OR
  • CEFR level B2+, OR
  • CAEL minimum overall and essay score of 70 (computer or paper based), OR
  • recognized equivalent or exemption.


Courses listed here must be completed either prior to or simultaneously with this course:

  • No corequisite courses


Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:

  • No equivalency courses

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.