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Start writing fiction


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This free course looks at how characters might be drawn and how setting is established. It works on the different levels of characterisation, from flat to round, and how character and place interact. It also works on the effect of genre and how genre can be used.

The main teaching material in this course is taken from an existing publication,The Fiction Writer's Workshop by Josip Novakovich (1995).

Novakovich is an award-winning writer (of short stories mainly), who teaches fiction writing at the University of Cincinnati. His chapters on ‘Character’ and ‘Setting’ are included within this course. I'll indicate when you should read these extracts and I'll also outline the listening and writing activities that accompany them.

This course is split into the following sections:

The Open University is conducting a survey investigating how people use the free educational content from our OpenLearn website. The aim is to provide a better free learning experience for everyone. If you have 10 minutes to spare, we’d be delighted if you could take part and tell us what you think [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

Please note this will take you out of this course.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 1 study in creative writing

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