Craft focus: mastering descriptive language

Course Dates: 21/01/23
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: Online
Descriptive language can provide texture and clarity to a story, promoting reader engagement and a sensory experience. In this short course, learn how to create vivid descriptions that will elevate your prose. This course will support writers of fiction and non-fiction.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00

Course Code: HW201

Sat, day, 21 Jan - 21 Jan '23

Duration: 1 session

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Lines open Monday-Friday 12:00-18:00

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2717

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 will help you develop your understanding of how descriptive language can enhance a story. You'll learn about the various approaches to descriptive language from diction to metaphor, when to use it, and how to tell whether it is working well. You'll read and analyse successful examples from published stories and unlock your imagination to create evocative sentences of your own.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

- What is descriptive writing? Identifying types and approaches
- Writing to engage the sentences
- How to choose the right word for the right context
- How to avoid 'purple prose'
- How to give and receive feedback with sensitivity.

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

- Approach descriptive writing with greater confidence
- Write some original fiction and/or non-fiction
- Analyse published texts with increased confidence
- Understand and apply a range of descriptive writing techniques that will help reveal character and plot.

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

This course is suitable for beginners and those with some creative writing experience. You will need a good grasp of English.

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

You will learn through interactive tutor presentation, analysis and discussion of texts, group work and practical writing exercises.

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?

There are no associated costs. Please bring writing materials.

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

There are a variety of creative writing classes available at City Lit. If you would like to develop your writing skils broadly, try Ways into creative writing, Developing your creative writing, or Writing Fiction. You can also enrol on a form-specific course such as Starting your novel or Short story writing.

In addition we offer lots of other courses as part of our Craft Focus series. You can choose from intensive short courses on point of view, dialogue, scenes, and more. Or better yet, why not collect them all?!

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.

Sophie McKenzie

A former journalist, Sophie McKenzie attended a writing class at City Lit in 2003 and has been writing fiction ever since. She has published over 25 books - including award-winning teen thrillers and crime fiction novels for adults. She is currently writing a new story featuring several strong female characters and working on a drama script for a TV production company.

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.