This is a rigorous and intensive fiction-writing course that focuses on character, plot and suspense. Students will analyze and apply narrative techniques of masters of the short story such as Bernard Malamud, Flannery O'Connor, Anton Chekov, Ernest Hemingway, Julio Cortazar, Gabriel Garcia Márquez, Patricia Highsmith, Alice Munro, William Faulkner, E. P. Jones, Richard Bausch, and J. D. Salinger. Specifically, students will study story structure and its relation to suspense; various ways to plot and pace stories; and the use of expanded psychological time, compressed-time narratives, and other methods for creating narrative tension in short fiction. Students also will learn methods of constructing vivid primary and secondary characters; practice writing layered dialogues; and explore problems related to perspective and psychic distance in third- and first-person narratives. Each student will write a series of short fiction assignments and a 30-page story employing narrative techniques learned in class. Students will share their fiction in workshops that focus on the development of editorial skills; each student will complete written critiques of his/her peers' stories for workshops. COL 201 will count as an elective workshop course for students completing Wesleyan's writing certificate program (as currently being developed). Paula Sharp is the author of four novels and a collection of short stories.