Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Member

Nic Brown, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Keith Lee Morris

Committee Member

Dr. Austin Gorman


This thesis is comprised of two components—one critical and one creative—sharing one, convergent goal of achieving a better understanding of, and ability to produce, quality fiction. The critical component addresses craft elements in contemporary fiction. Specifically, these elements include: premise, place, and decoder statements. By analyzing these techniques in the work of active, or otherwise remarkable, authors, the thesis explores the ways in which the pieces are successful and attempts to isolate and come to an understanding of the specific elements employed. The creative component, made up of six works of short fiction, hopes to employ the techniques discussed in the critical component (alongside others), demonstrating growth and competency in the form.