Craft focus: narrative time in fiction
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW057
Duration: 1 session
What is the course about?
Every story must obey one basic rule, namely that it must begin and it must end. As a writer you have the freedom to control what happens in between, but how can any mere mortal control time? In this short intensive course you will learn how 'narrative time' works, and how different writers have manipulated it to great effect. Through a series of guided writing exercises you will experiment with the effects of time and discover how the 'paper clock' can help you structure your fiction.
Please note: this course will have a 2-hr lunch break.
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.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- What is narrative time? Story time versus real time.
- How have other writers approached the element of time in their fiction
- How narrative time can help us understand pacing
- Linear versus modular plots.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Understand the basics of how narrative time works in fiction
- Identify various techniques for manipulating narrative time in fiction
- Create an original piece of writing
- Give and receive feedback with sensitivity.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an intermediate course suitable for those with some experience writing fiction. You should be an avid reader of fiction. You will also need fluency in English.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will learn through interactive tutor presentation, group work, analysis and discussion of published texts, 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?
Please bring writing materials.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Collect the other Craft Focus courses on offer to give key elements of your writing the special attention they deserve. Or, why not try one of our term-long fiction courses? You may also enjoy a Reading for writers course, or the Craft of fiction reading and writing group. There are lots of options to develop your fiction available via the online prospectus. If you need help finding the right one, just give us a call!
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.
Jonathan Barnes is the author of five novels, most recently Dracula's Child and The City of Dr Moreau. He writes regularly for The Critic, the Times Literary Supplement and the Literary Review. He has written extensively in the audio medium, especially in the areas of licensed fiction - Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sherlock Holmes and others.
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.