What is the course about?
This course will cover the basic aspects of novel writing, and is ideal for intermediate students who have an idea for a novel or a novel in progress. The taught syllabus will cover a wide variety of techniques including character, point of view, dialogue, structure and style. There is also an element of workshop in this course.
The Tutor:Natasha Bell is a novelist and creative nonfiction writer. She holds an MA in Creative and Life Writing from Goldsmiths and has taught Creative Writing to both adults and children. She’s published a memoir, as well as articles and stories in a variety of magazines and journals. Her debut novel, Exhibit Alexandra, was published in 2018 by Penguin.
City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
What will we cover?
- Issues of craft and content, including character, point of view, structure and style
- Examination of technical elements including dialogue, scene-building, and effective writing on a sentence-by-sentence level
- Keeping the reader's interest
- Workshopping of students' work.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Respond to and assess pieces of writing with sensitivity
- Apply your critical and editorial skills more effectively
- Demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of techniques for effective prose writing.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for those with some experience of writing fiction who wish to learn more about the craft of novel writing and begin or continue with a long-form project of their own.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You'll be taught through a systematic discussion of issues, problem-solving, writing exercises, and peer evaluation.
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.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Please bring pen and paper, and a page of your novel to the first session. You will be expected to submit work prior to class by a set deadline.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You can progress to Developing your novel, which will encourage you to share more of your work and explore craft concepts in greater depth.
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