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Introduction to fiction writing: Welcome

‘I’d love to write fiction one day, but I don’t have a story yet’

Introduction to fiction writing: About

Course: Introduction to fiction writing

Format: one-to-one via email (see group coaching for Cape Town courses)

Duration: six modules over six weeks

Course fee: R3 000

Suitable for: Writers who are new to fiction writing and who would like to understand more about the art of storytelling. It is not necessary to have a particular project in mind.

Aim: To explain the stages and processes involved in creating a fictional story and to give writers an opportunity to use their imagination and practise some of the techniques.

Overview: While the principles of creative writing apply to both fiction and non-fiction, this course introduces the components of a short story or novel: genre, topic, themes, plot, character, dialogue, point of view, voice, setting and description.

What you get: Each week, for six consecutive weeks, you will receive an emailed document containing instruction on the week’s topics, a writing exercise and a short assignment for which you will receive detailed written feedback.

How it works: The first module will be delivered on receipt of payment for the full course. When the first assignment is submitted, I will return the feedback within three days, along with the next module. Each subsequent module will be emailed as the previous module’s assignment is received.

How much time do you need to set aside for this course? Working through each module should take an hour or so. You will also need to set aside two or three hours for each weekly assignment.

Course outline:

Week 1: Introduction: How do writers write? Forming a habit; picking genre, topics and themes. Introducing story shapes.

Week 2: Plot and character: How are they intertwined? Archetypal plots, formulaic writing, character development and back stories.

Week 3: Voice and dialogue: How the author creates authentic voices, personality and tone; how dialogue advances the story and reveals character.

Week 4: Point of view: What you need to know about characters’ perspectives.

Week 5: Setting and description. How do you paint word pictures? How much detail is necessary?

Week 6: Beginnings and endings: Tried and tested options and one or two pitfalls.

Introduction to fiction writing: About
Introduction to fiction writing: Welcome
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