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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

Introduction to Writing Fiction

This eight-week module will focus on some of the most vital elements of fictional writing: character, place, story and point of view. How do you bring characters to life on the page? How do you evoke a place? How do you craft a gripping yet believable story? And what effect does an author’s choice of point of view have on each of these elements? Classes will be based around discussion, looking at examples of published fiction with a view to finding effective techniques for developing these aspects of fiction; writing exercises aimed at strengthening your writing; and workshops, in which you’ll share your works-in-progress with the group. The aim is for you to work towards producing one or two pieces of short fiction or novel chapters.

Book Course

This module will explore stimulating, interactive and innovative ways of producing effective fictional writing through the study of four essential elements of fiction: character, place, story and point of view. While focusing on one element for one or two weeks, through looking at published works, the module will also illustrate how these elements are inherently interlinked. You will be given the opportunity to published fiction, to discuss what does and doesn’t work in those pieces, while beginning work on your own fiction through exercises aimed at strengthening your writing in these areas. You will be given the opportunity to read out your works-in-progress in a safe and constructive environment, providing critical yet encouraging feedback to group members.

Course Code: CRWInt

Course Dates: Wednesday 26 October 2016 to Wednesday 14 December 2016 (8 weeks)

Course times: 18.30 to 20.30

Course Leader: Jenn Shaller


The aims of this module are:

• To outline the key skills required for successful fiction

• To creatively explore four essential element of fiction: character, place, story and point of view

• To develop particular skills in fiction through writing exercises

• To develop a student’s understanding of what works in fiction through workshops

• To produce one or two pieces of short fiction or novel chapters


Week 1 Welcome/Introductions, Narrative Viewpoint + Structure
Week 2 Plot + Setting
Week 3 Character Development + Openings
Week 4 Creative Workshop
Week 5 Sentence Structure
Week 6 Style: Symbolism, Tone, Imagery, etc.
Week 7 Dialogue, Theme & Motif
Week 8 Final Creative Workshop


• you will develop confidence in presenting your work to small groups of other students

• you will become more adept at giving and utilizing constructive criticism

• you will have gained skills in planning and editing your work

• you will be used to generating ideas and writing creatively on demand

• you will be used to writing non-fiction to particular word limits and to deadlines.


Booking Information

Please note that your course will only run if it receives a sufficient number of bookings . This will be confirmed closer to the start date of the course. If your course is cancelled due to insufficient booking numbers, you will receive a full refund. Please note that the booking/payment confirmation that you receive should not be taken as a guarantee that the course will run. This confirmation will be sent to you separately once it has been established that the course will go ahead.

If you select the staff or student price option, you must use an online store account that has been set up with your University email address and fill out your University staff or student ID number when prompted as part of the questionnaire data section.
The staff/student discount is available to University of Southampton students, staff members and alumni. It is also available to University Southampton Hospital staff.


Standard Fee:   £140.00

Student / Staff Discount:   £125.00

Time:19:00 until 21:00

Date Tuesday 16 October

(8-week course)


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