What you will study
This module is suitable for new writers, as well as for those with some experience who would like to develop their skills. It will help you to identify your strengths and interests as a writer by giving you the opportunity to write in a range of genres: fiction, poetry, autobiography and biography. The emphasis is on finding your own directions and styles through experiment, practice and constructive feedback. The module is suitable not only for aspiring writers, but for anyone with a strong interest in reading and writing, who would like to deepen their understanding of the creative process.
The module is structured around the following five parts:
The introductory part, The Creative Process, focuses on developing a habit of writing. It examines a range of strategies including clustering, morning pages, and keeping a writer’s notebook, as well as statements from writers about their own approaches and practices.
Part 2, Writing Fiction, explores the main aspects of narrative, including story structure and time; showing and telling; character and setting; point of view; and editing.
Part 3, Writing Poetry, introduces you to the basics of contemporary poetry, covering a variety of approaches and techniques designed for beginning poets. Topics include image and figurative language; the line in free verse; voice and diction; structure; rhyme and metre; the sonnet; and revising.
Part 4, Life Writing, looks at autobiography (or memoir) and biography. Some of the central issues raised by life writing are discussed, including the nature of memory and forgetting; the performance of the self; and the representation of others. Finding and researching subject matter and suitable forms are also explored.
The final part, Going Public, outlines the professional presentation of manuscripts and submissions to agents and editors, as well as finding outlets for publication.
At the core of the module is the module book Creative Writing: A Workbook with Readings, which takes you week-by-week through the five parts. The emphasis is very much on practice through guided activities, supported by essays and literary examples by a diverse range of authors, including prose extracts, stories and poems to illustrate particular methods or strategies. The virtual learning environment contains audios, videos, animations and other interactive material to enhance your learning, such as interviews with writers discussing their own inspirations and techniques, and discussions with publishing industry professionals. Face-to-face and online tutorials offer additional opportunities to receive guidance and support from tutors.