What you will study
This module is structured in four parts. At the core of the module is a handbook that takes you week-by-week through methods, readings and writing exercises. This handbook covers the first three parts of the module. The fourth part is a period of independent study and project work.
Part 1: Ways of writing
You'll begin by looking at different approaches to writing. In particular, you'll focus on the influence of genre, world-building in dystopian and fantasy fiction, setting in life writing and narrative in poetry. Work includes readings and writing exercises in fiction, poetry, and life writing.
Part 2: Dramatic writing
You'll progress to explore writing techniques for three dramatic media: stage, film and audio, which will illustrate the narrative strengths and constraints of each medium. You'll examine the conventional layouts for these media, and this part will also deal with dramatic principles connected to dialogue, subtext, status and exposition, as well as media-specific elements such as sets for the stage, aural contrast in audio and montage in film. You’ll also consider the techniques involved in adapting work in other genres to script.
Part 3: Developing style and structure
You'll look at how some of the methods used in dramatic writing can improve fiction writing, life writing and poetry. You’ll consider the inner world in life writing, and dramatic techniques in poetry. This section goes on to explore writing approaches in a wide-ranging fashion, covering poetic form, time, voice, long and short-form work, theme and structure, and the uses of rhetoric and analogy. You’ll focus on improving your writing style and voice in all genres.
Part 4: Independent study
This final part involves working on a larger project, culminating in the presentation of an end-of-module assessment comprising a substantial piece of creative writing in one of the forms taught in the module – fiction, poetry, life writing or drama.
As in Creative writing (A215), the emphasis is very much on practice through guided activities, although as the module progresses, you will increasingly be expected to generate and develop your own ideas without reliance on the study materials. In comparison to the OU level 2 module, the emphasis will be on working independently to enhance and improve your writing style and voice. You'll spend longer developing, editing and redrafting your work and will write a dramatic adaptation and explore the influence of drama on your work.
Online tutor-group forums will enable peer-group discussion of some of your work. You'll be expected to engage in these activities, giving impersonal and informed evaluations of your own and others’ work through constructive criticism. Some of the tutor-marked assignments will require evidence of engagement on the online forum.