Unit 1 - Write what you know
- Inspiration and application of ideas.
- How to write from personal experience and develop anecdote and memory into a piece of fiction.
Unit 2 - Beginnings, Middles, Endings
- How 3 act structure shapes a story.
- Where to start a story.
- Analysis of crisis points and reader expectation.
- The relationship between main plot and subplot.
Unit 3 - Character 1
- How to create a complex protagonist.
- Departure from expected archetypes.
- Internal vs. external life of character.
- The character with a secret.
- Character growth vs. character decline.
Unit 4 - Character 2
- Supporting characters and their function in story.
- The difference between primary and secondary characters and subsequent influence of story development.
- Secondary characters as chorus and jury.
- The role of the hidden/ invisible main character.
Unit 5 - What kind of story
- Genre expectation and how to subvert it.
- How to fit original ideas to specific genres.
- Commercial expectations of mainstream genres.
- How to subvert known genres.
Unit 6 - What's it all about
- Thematic development in story.
- How to identify the themes in self-created writing; how to dramatise these in character development and action to fit commercial expectation.
Unit 7 - Complex plotting
- Planning and execution in story.
- The concept of dual-plotting, and how this can play with readers' expectation.
Unit 8 - Whose story is it anyway
- Narrative point of view.
- How to choose your narrator and dramatic perspective to best serve plot and character development.
Unit 9 - How to tell it
- Use of description and metaphor.
- How descriptive prose can reveal character; the use of metaphor to provide clues within a complex narrative.
Unit 10 - When is it finished
- Good editorial practice, with a focus on how to create text to the standard expected by publishers and agents.
- How to create write synopsis and covering letter for commercial consideration.
We strongly recommend that you try to find a little time each week to engage in the online conversations (at times that are convenient to you) as the forums are an integral, and very rewarding, part of the course and the online learning experience.