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Start writing fiction
Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free...
Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free course, Start writing fiction, will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and settings. You will also be able to look at the different genres for fiction.
By the end of Start writing fiction you should be able to:
- identify strengths and weaknesses as a writer of fiction;
- develop a general awareness of fiction writing;
- develop a basic vocabulary to discuss fiction.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Character
- 2 Setting
- 3 Genre
- 4 Conclusion
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Start writing fiction
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:
Enrol on OpenLearn to gain a record of achievement
If you would like to gain a record of achievement, you can study this free course on OpenLearn. Once you set up a free Open University account and enrolled on this course, you can track your progress in MyOpenLearn. When you’ve finished you can print off the free activity record to demonstrate your learning.
Go to the course on OpenLearn:
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
Please note this will take you out of this course.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 1 study in creative writing
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Creative Writing courses or view the range of currently available OU Creative Writing courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 1st January 2013
Last updated on: Thursday, 2nd July 2015
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
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