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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Literature, Languages and Cultures

Undergraduate Course: Starting to Write (LLLG07031)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is a for-credit course offered by the Centre for Open Learning (COL); only students registered with COL should be enrolled.
This is a course for beginners or those wishing to refresh the basics of writing poetry and short stories. The writing exercises are designed to build confidence and stimulate and encourage original and lively work. Learn how to revise a first draft and how to give and take critical feedback in a positive, constructive way.
Course description Part 1(Term 2)
1. Introductions. Getting started and organised. Springboard exercises.
2. Writing from life as a way into fiction
3. Close observation and the 5 senses
4. Show, Don't Tell
5. Everything happens somewhere: a sense of place
6. Whose story is it? Point of view.
7. Character driven narrative
8. A continuation of week 7
9. Imagery 1: litany (list poems)
10. 10. How to edit your work.
Part 2 (Term 3)
1. Getting restarted. Springboard exercises
2. Monologue
3. Imagery 2: haiku
4. Imagery 3: simile, metaphor & symbol
5. Structure: the 'shape' of your story.
6. Journey plot & quest narrative
7. A continuation of week 6
8. To rhyme or not to rhyme: free verse v traditional forms
9. A continuation of week 8
10. Editing: presenting your work for publication
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Creative Writing Portfolio - 85%
Reflective Commentary - 15%
Feedback In class, students get regular peer and tutor feedback on their writing. In the second half of the course, students can submit a piece of writing for written feedback from the tutor. Students are required to reflect upon their feedback and discuss intended action points with the tutor.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand how they can nurture the creative process
  2. practice elements of the craft (such as dialogue, creating character)
  3. identify strengths and weaknesses in their own work and others' work
  4. edit their work beyond the initial draft
  5. understand the need to experiment and practice writing to find their own confident voice
Reading List
Goldberg, N., 1986. Writing Down the Bones. Boston: Shambala.
Sweeney, M. and Shapcott, J., 2004 Emergency Kit: Poems for Strange Times. London: Faber & Faber.
Prose, F., 2007. Reading Like a Writer. New York: Harper Perennial
Rekulak, J., 2001. The Writer┬┐s BLOCK: 786 Ideas To Jump Start Your Imagination. London: Running Press
Web sources
Handouts will be provided weekly.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 20 tutorials of 2 hours each spread over two terms and starting in January
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Malgorzata Bugaj
Course secretaryMs Kameliya Skerleva
Tel: (0131 6)51 1855
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