What is the course about?
This course invites you to consider various aspects of fiction, including character, structure, and point of view, all within a supportive online environment. Published work will be read and discussed so you can discover how and why it succeeds in telling an involving story. This is a very hands-on, practical course, and exercises during live class sessions will stimulate your imagination and get you producing fiction of your own. Your writing will be critically appraised and you'll gain confidence, skill, and insight into the creative process.
Students say: "I appreciated the interaction with other writers, the feedback received and the experience of the tutor"; "everyone was friendly, open-minded and supportive"; "it gave me the chance to experiment with new writing styles"; "I have taken a lot away from this course.".
What will we cover?
- Techniques for telling a great story, including structure, dialogue, characterisation and point-of-view
- How to read critically and to apply the lessons learnt to your own writing
- How to transform personal experience into fiction
- How to give and use constructive criticism.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Respond to and assess pieces of writing with sensitivity
- Finish at least one piece of fiction writing, and know its strengths and weaknesses
- Continue to produce work on a regular basis.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an intermediate onine course suitable for students who have taken Ways into creative writing at City Lit or a similar course elsewhere. You will need to be an enthusiastic reader of prose fiction and feel comfortable sharing your work with others. Suitable only for students with reading and writing fluency in English. You should be able to access and comfortably use a computer that has an internet connection, working microphone and a webcam (optional).
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
This course is delivered online. You will learn through a combination of writing exercises, presentations by your tutor, analysis of published writing, and group discussions. There is a strong emphasis on producing your own work and your tutor will set short reading and writing assignments to be completed during class and in your own time.
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.
This course will be delivered online, and will involve tutor presentation and class discussion. Student preparation and homework outside class times is strongly encouraged. To fully participate in this online class you will need:
- An email address
- A reliable internet connection
- A computer/laptop/tablet with a fully updated browser (preferably google chrome). Your device will need a microphone, and preferably a camera.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No additional costs. You will need access to a computer with an internet connection, working microphone, and webcam (optional). Please come prepared with a pen and paper. If you struggle to read printed text on a screen, you may also need access to a printer to make hard copies of any reading assignments, however these will be very short and limited in number.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may wish to consider another intermediate creative writing course at City Lit such as Starting your novel or Short story writing. Alternatively, if you feel ready to submit your work for rigorous constructive feedback you are welcome to enrol in one of our Advanced fiction writing workshops.
Our Craft Focus series is also available to writers who wish to focus on an isolated element of fiction writing craft. We offer short intensive courses in developing character, plot, setting, point of view, 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.