Craft focus: novel plotting workshop (advanced)

Course Dates: 26/05/24 - 16/06/24
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Gain fresh insight into your novel's plot in this advanced course designed to help you find a structure that showcases the story you want to tell. Suitable for those with a novel in progress.

Please note: sessions include a 1-hour break.
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Full fee £209.00 Senior fee £209.00 Concession £105.00

Craft focus: novel plotting workshop (advanced)
  • Course Code: HW274
  • Dates: 26/05/24 - 16/06/24
  • Time: 10:30 - 16:30
  • Taught: Sun, Daytime
  • Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Rosie Chard

Course Code: HW274

Sun, day, 26 May - 16 Jun '24

Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)

Any questions?
or call 020 4582 0415

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

What is the course about?

This advanced course is designed to help you analyse your novel's plot, uncover its strengths and weaknesses, and develop it into a robust structure that showcases the story you want to tell. The course will enable you to evaluate the plot of your novel-in-progress with clarity and purpose, troubleshoot challenges, share your insights with fellow novelist classmates, and develop a realistic plan for revision.

What will we cover?

- An overview of a range of narrative structures including three-act, five-act, and looking beyond the narrative arc to pattern structures
- Narrative time, tension, and repetition as a structuring elements
- Story hierarchies
- How to map a detailed plot structure of our own and present it to the class for constructive critique
- Reading like a writer (with reference to specific, plot-focused case studies), and how to apply the insights gained to your own work.
- How to give and receive constructive feedback on plot in your novel with clarity, sensitivity and confidence.

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

- Create a detailed plot outline of your novel in progress
- Demonstrate an understanding of narrative time, tension, and repetition as potential structuring elements and demonstrate understanding in your own written work
- Analyse at least two different approaches to plotting and evaluate the potential benefits and/or drawbacks of those approaches when applied to your own storyline
- Give and receive constructive feedback with clarity, confidence, and sensitivity.

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

This is an advanced level course suitable for learners who have either completed a full novel draft, or who have made significant progress with writing a novel (at least 50K words). Learners may also progress to this course from Craft focus: introduction to novel progress, though this is not required. The course is designed to focus on the specific topic of plot, and so you must be well-acquainted with your project, enough to feel comfortable analysing and discussing its plot and story with peers. In addition, you will need to be a keen reader of novels, and fluent in both 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 texts
- Writing exercises
- Constructive feedback from your tutor and your peers

Your tutor will also set reading and writing assignments as homework. You may be required to read and comment on the work of your fellow classmates outside of class.

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 and paper, and be prepared to type on your computer. You will also need coloured pencils.

Reading list. You will need to either purchase or borrow the following texts:

Into the Woods, by John Yorke
Beginning, Middles and Endings, by Nancy Kress
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen.

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

You may be interested in our Developing your novel course, or in one of our Advanced fiction writing workshops. If you feel you are ready, you may also decide to apply for a place on either our term-long Masterclass: fiction writing workshop, or our year-long fiction writing Masterclass. You may also find our other Craft focus courses helpful for gaining insight into different aspects of your fiction.

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.

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.