What is the course about?
This course is a flexible approach to novel writing that combines face-to-face tuition in the major elements of novel writing craft with online writing guidance and activities. Learn about story and character development, narrative structure, setting, theme and subtext, and gain valuable feedback on your writing in a supportive environment.
Please note that the dates of this course have changed from what is advertised in our printed guide. This course will now run from Monday 23 September 2019 to Monday 09 December 2019. Please see below for a full course schedule.
What will we cover?
This course covers the fundamentals of novel writing in six modules, combining face-to-face and online tuition.
Module 1: Introduction to the course and the art of novel writing
• Week 1 (in class)
• Week 2 (online)
Module 2: Plotting, Planning and Story Structure
• Week 3 (in class)
• Week 4 (online)
Module 3: Character Development and Dialogue
• Week 5 (in class)
• Week 6 (online)
Module 4: Narration, Voice and Point of View
• Week 7 (in class)
• Week 8 (online)
Module 5: Setting and Writing Scenes
• Week 9 (in class)
• Week 10 (online)
Module 6: Style, Editing and Novel Writer's Toolkit (week 11 - in class only).
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify and demonstrate how specific elements of fictional craft apply to your writing
- understand how to give and receive constructive feedback with confidence
- apply critical feedback to your own work
- complete at least one chapter of a novel and display the confidence to keep writing!
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for those who have some experience of short creative writing projects. You will need a good grasp of written and spoken English.
Your tutor will provide you with some introductory support regarding the online aspects of the course, but you will need to be confident engaging with computers and online platforms. The course will focus on improving your novel writing skills, not on developing competence with I.T.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- tutor-led presentations (in class and via videolog online)
- group discussions (in class and via online forum)
- group and individual activities (in class and online)
- workshop (in class and online)
Outside of scheduled class and online time, you will also be expected to complete brief homework assigments set by the tutor.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You will need access to a computer and the internet to participate in this course. If you do not have a computer or internet connection at home, please let your tutor know. City Lit has a Student Support Centre where students can access the internet, but you may need to reserve a space. You are also welcome to bring a laptop or tablet to use during in-class writing exercises if you feel it will help you.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may wish to continue on the same course next term, or progress to one of our weekly Developing your novel writing courses. Craft focus: introduction to novel plotting is also a good option for those wishing to concentrate on structuring their novel.
In addition, other courses in our Craft Focus series are available to writers who wish to focus on an isolated element of fiction writing craft. We offer short intensive courses in developing character, point of view, setting, dialogue and more. See our website or contact the department for advice on how you can develop a programme of fiction writing study. 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.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details