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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Postgraduate Course: Elements of Fiction Two (Online Learning) (ENLI11219)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course consists of synchronous, online seminars (webinars), once every three weeks, of asynchronous online workshops (writing forums) and asynchronous feedback sessions. Webinars will focus on theoretical and reflective exploration of key topics and voluntary, tailored writing assignments will be set. Writing forums will take place seven times over the course of the programme. Each will last for twelve days. For the first two years, these will be hosted by a member of the creating writing staff; in the final year, these will be autonomous forums. Students will present and critique work in progress by a group of their peers. Students will receive feedback from a supervisor on work in progress, seven times in total over the course of their programme. This feedback, or formative assessment, will provide both textually specific and general critique. At the end of the year, students will submit 10,000 words of prose fiction for assessment.
Course description This 40 credit core course in fiction writing combines the generation and critique of students' creative work with the consideration of key components of fiction. Throughout the year it is expected that students are working independently on their own writing in addition to engaging with scheduled class activities. In synchronous webinars, students will be encouraged to consider, through reading, discussion and tailored writing assignments, how different elements of fiction contribute value to a work of fiction. Though all the component elements of a text are interdependent, for practical purposes each webinar will focus on a different element, and consider how best it might be deployed. Students will read relevant material in advance then discuss each topic in the light of their experience as readers and as writers. To put theory into practice, students will also be provided with a tailored writing task related to each topic with which they are encouraged though not compelled to engage: we do not expect students to write to order. Students may post any results of these voluntary exercises on the homework forum, for informal feedback from their peers. Scheduled writing forums (as mentioned in the course summary) provide a testing ground for new work, for honing editing and self-editing skills, for developing strategies with which to process and utilise diverse critical opinion, all of which combine to aid that essential part of the writing process: redrafting. Engaging with webinars, feedback sessions and writing forums helps to prepare students for end of year folio assessment and, more generally, to advance their writing skills.
11. Focus versus Scope: The Novella
12. Linked Stories/Novels in Stories
13. Structures (s) Building up/Cutting Away
14. Pacing, Placing and Time Management
15. What is Style?
16. Two Heads: Collaboration and Co-Authorship
17. An Old, Old Story: Retellings
18. What You Don't Know, Find Out: Research for fiction
19. Reeling in: Endings
20. Reinstating the Comma: Editing and Proofreading
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Essential course texts
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 1, Online Activities 105, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 25, Formative Assessment Hours 8, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 252 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 10,000 word portfolio (100%)
Feedback During the course of the year, students receive 2 feedback sessions with an allocated supervisor, and participate in 2 hosted forums. Feedback received in these contexts is formative, rather than summative.

For feedback sessions, students submit 5,000 words of fiction, ideally comprising complete stories or chapters. Their supervisor will respond with a combination of line by line and general comments within 2 weeks of the work being submitted. The student may then respond with a reasonable number of specific queries, after which the session is considered closed.

For forums, students submit 3,000 words of fiction (again, ideally complete pieces). During the forum (of 12 days duration), both the host and the other forum members offer circa 500 words of focused feedback on each submission; the discussion then opens out into more general territory pertaining to the work submitted.

At the end of the academic year, students submit a folio of creative work (10,000 words) for summative assessment. Folios are double marked and students will receive the comments of both markers.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Take a creative work from its inception to completion
  2. Exercise self-critical and editorial skills relating to the drafting and expansion of their own work
  3. Identify specific areas of research which may be required for the purposes of a creative work
  4. Demonstrate a facility for economy of expression, an awareness of the fine nuances of language, and acute attention to detail
  5. Prepare a manuscript for submission to literary agents and/or publishers
Reading List
Atwood, Margaret, Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing
Bell, James Scott, Revision and Self-Editing
Bell, Madison Smartt, Narrative Design: A Writer's Guide to Structure
Blake, Carole, From Pitch to Publication
Bloom, Harold, How to Read and Why
Booker, Christopher, Seven Basic Plots Browne & King, Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
de Groot, Jerome, The Historical Novel
Calvino, Italo, The Literature Machine
Dillard, Annie, The Writing Life
Forster, E.M., Aspects of the Novel
Fuentes, Carlos, This I Believe, an A-Z of a Writer's Life
Hoffman, Ann, Research for Writers
James, Henry, The House of Fiction, Essays on the Novel
Kaplan, David, Revision: A Creative Approach to Writing Fiction
Kundera, Milan,The Art of the Novel
Lerner, Betsy, The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers
Levi, Primo, Other People's Trades
McKee, Robert, Story: Substance, Structure, Style
Peck, John and Coyle. Martin, The Student's Guide to Writing: Spelling, Punctuation and
Strunk, William and White, E.B., The Elements of Style
Wood, James, The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students who complete the course successfully will have attained a broadened awareness of stylistic possibilities in fiction. By practice they will have developed compositional skills in a way that complements more general English studies. They will have learned and established good, independent writing habits which can be maintained beyond the completion of the programme. They will have mastered the crucial distinction between critiquing work and critiquing its author, and be able to articulate and communicate acquired knowledge and skills to others.
Course organiserDr Miriam Gamble
Course secretaryMiss Kara Mccormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030
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