Understand the elements and craft of fiction

Fiction’s purpose is to create a continuous and engaging dream in the mind of a reader. This course looks closely at the key craft skills writers use, unpacking complex ideas in a creative and practical way. Topics include to finding and honing your own voice as a writer, understanding and successfully using point of view, experimenting with innovative genre-crossing, types of narrative structure, creating characters, generating plot from character journey, and ways to self-edit and re-draft work. Each session offers pertinent quotes from established writers, examples from works of fiction, practical class exercises, group work, feedback and optional home tasks.

Course outline

Session 1: This session opens the door to the world of fiction, offering ideas and practical exercises designed to deepen your understanding of the writer’s craft.

Topics we will be covering are:

  • What is the purpose of fiction?
  • How do you nurture the impulse to write?
  • How do you find your writer’s voice?
  • How do you creating meaning through narrative structure?
  • How can you experiment with genre?
  • How do you find your story premise or ‘heart’?

Session 2: This session is about finding the right tone and the point of view to tell your story. We will look closely at differing points of view to see how a situation can be endlessly “seen” depending on who is seeing it.

Session 3: This session focuses on your developing your writing style by recognizing different styles and experimenting with them. We will look at the difference between emotion and sentimentality and how various writers create atmosphere through their choice of language. We will also play with types of form and narrative structure to generate new story ideas.

Session 4: This session is about creating your reader’s connection to your characters. We will learn how to create a strong character journey, and how to use dreams and obstacles to build up narrative tension and create forward motion. We will try out accessing your character’s inner thoughts through dialogue, monologue, and narration.

Session 5: In our final session we will read aloud work we have done in class and get written feedback from others on the course. We will also talk about dealing with writer’s block, managing feedback, how to self- edit and the importance of re-writing.

Learning outcomes

Learners will be able to demonstrate some of the key craft skills required to create fiction.

Who should attend?

Writers (and readers) of fiction who have some experience in writing from the imagination, or have been exposed to fiction through their reading.