Craft focus: scenes in fiction

Course Dates: 14/07/24
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: Keeley Street
Tutors: 
Lights, camera, action! Scenes in fiction are like those in film: we watch the action unfold, as a story moves toward its conclusion. In this short course you'll learn about this essential unit of fiction craft, and develop scenes that grab readers' attention.
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Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00

Craft focus: scenes in fiction
  • Course Code: HW418
  • Dates: 14/07/24 - 14/07/24
  • Time: 10:30 - 16:30
  • Taught: Sun, Daytime
  • Duration: 1 session
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Thomas McMullan

Course Code: HW418

Sun, day, 14 Jul - 14 Jul '24

Duration: 1 session

Any questions? writing@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 4582 0415

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?

Scenes are structural units in fiction that connect events, deepen readers' understanding, and push a story closer to its resolution. Crafted well, they can make words on a page come alive. In this course, you'll learn the principles of scene craft and how to write scenes with structural integrity that will animate your stories. Suitable for those with some experience of creative writing.

What will we cover?

- What is a scene? Key elements
- Types of scene and their purpose
- When to create a scene and when to write summary
- How to structure a scene
- Transitioning between scene and summary.

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

- Give and receive feedback with sensitivity
- Understand how scenes work
- Identify the components of scenes
- Craft a scene that deepens character and moves a narrative forward.

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

This is an intermediate level course suitable for those with some experience of creative writing. You will need to be comfortable sharing your work, an enthusiastic reader of fiction, and fluent in English.

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

You will learn through a combination of interactive tutor presentation, group discussison and analysis of published texts, peer feedback, and 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 additional costs. Please bring writing materials.

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

Why not try one of our term-long courses in fiction such as Writing fiction, Short Story Writing or Starting your novel? If you feel ready to submit your work for rigorous constructive feedback, you can enrol on Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop.

Collect the other Craft Focus courses on offer to give key elements of your writing the special attention they deserve. 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.

Thomas McMullan

Thomas McMullan is a writer and artist. His debut novel, The Last Good Man (Bloomsbury) won the 2021 Betty Trask Prize. His short fiction and poetry have been published in Granta, 3:AM Magazine and Best British Short Stories, and his journalistic work has appeared in publications including the Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, Frieze and BBC News. He has also worked with theatre companies and games studios in London, Amsterdam and Los Angeles, including Punchdrunk, The Chinese Room and Roll7 (Bafta: Best British Game, 2023).

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.