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Start writing fiction

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Audio Audio

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.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • identify strengths and weaknesses as a writer of fiction
  • demonstrate a general awareness of fiction writing
  • discuss fiction using basic vocabulary.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 12 hours
  • Updated Monday 13th June 2016
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Creative Writing
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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:

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 1 study in Creative Writing [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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