Craft focus: introduction to novel plotting

Course Dates: 21/04/24 - 12/05/24
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Tutors: 
Explore different approaches to novel plotting and learn how to plot your own novel successfully in this short course suitable for those who have begun writing a novel.
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Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00

Craft focus: introduction to novel plotting
  • Course Code: HW499
  • Dates: 21/04/24 - 12/05/24
  • Time: 10:30 - 16:30
  • Taught: Sun, Daytime
  • Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Rosie Chard

Course Code: HW499

Sun, day, 21 Apr - 12 May '24

Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)

Any questions? writing@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 4582 0415

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This course is designed for students who have begun work on their novel, but need support to fashion their ideas into a coherent narrative that flows naturally from beginning to end. You'll explore different approaches to novel plotting and work to find an approach that best showcases the story you want to tell.

Please note - this course includes a 1-hour lunch break.

What will we cover?

- How to identify and develop potential structures in your novel
- Ways into plotting using graphic visualisation techniques-sketch story boards/skeleton plans
- How to map out a three-act structure
- Reading like a writer with a focus on structure.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Identify the parts of the three-act structure and their respective functions (in fiction)
- Plot your novel using the three-act structure and identify the relative strengths and weakness of this approach for your project
- Demostrate an understanding of different planning techniques and develop a working plan for plotting your novel using one or more of these techniques.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an intermediate level course suitable for those with a novel project in progress. Ideally you will have completed a significant portion of the novel, however the course also welcomes those who are in the early stages of developing an idea for their project. You will need to be a keen reader of novels and fluent in written and spoken English.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

- Interactive tutor presentation
- Analysis and discussion of published fiction
- Written exercises
- Constructive feedback from your tutor and peers

This course will include short reading and writing homework assignments.

All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.

For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.

City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Please bring a pen, paper, and be prepared to type on your computer. You will also need coloured pencils for this course. In addition, you will need to buy or borrow the following texts:

Into the Woods, by John Yorke
Beginnings, Middles, and Endings, by Nancy Kress.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You can progress onto our continuation course, Craft focus: novel plotting workshop (advanced).

You may also be interested in our full length Novel writing courses, Starting your novel, or Developing your novel. When you're ready, you can progress to one of our Advanced fiction writing workshops to receive more constructive feedback on your novel draft.

All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.

Rosie Chard

Rosie Chard is a novelist, writing tutor, freelance editor, writing mentor and English language teacher. After qualifying as a landscape architect, she lived and worked in Denmark and Canada for several years, designing gardens, parks, and urban spaces. Inspired by the enormous skies and harsh winters of the Prairies she wrote her first novel Seal Intestine Raincoat, published in 2009 by NeWest Press. It won the 2010 Alberta Trade Fiction Book Award and received an honourable mention for the Sunburst Fiction Award the same year. She was also shortlisted for the 2010 John Hirsch award for the Most Promising Manitoba writer. Her second novel The Insistent Garden, also published by NeWest Press, was the recipient of the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction in Canada in 2014. The Eavesdroppers, her third novel was published by NeWest Press in September 2018. She is currently writing her fifth novel. Www.rosiechard.org.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.