How to Write Fiction with Dr David Wharton
23rd February 2021 – 11th May 2021
About this Course
Suitable for those who hope to achieve publication and for those who simply enjoy writing as a leisure pursuit, How to Write Fiction is a 10-week online course covering general approaches and techniques for short stories, novellas and novels.
You’ll be guided through the key elements of fiction: character, situation, setting, story, plot and prose style. Practical exercises will help you reflect on material from the classes and apply them to your own writing. We will also consider broader issues such as research techniques, the challenge of redrafting, sustaining a long writing project and overcoming writer’s block.
Please note that this course is closely focussed on prose fiction and doesn’t cover playwriting, screenwriting or poetry. However, if you’re looking to write a creative nonfiction project, such as an autobiography or memoir, you may still find it valuable.
During the course, you’ll also have opportunities (if you wish) to share and discuss your work in supportive group critique sessions with other students and the tutor.
Because students’ interests and backgrounds vary, the tutor will take a flexible approach responding to the group’s needs. However, the basic course outline is:
- Being (or becoming) a writer; working with your imagination
- Turning situations into stories
- Building believable characters
- Writers’ workshop 1
- Settings, world-building and research
- Story structure and plot
- Writers’ workshop 2
- Writing prose – words, sentences, paragraphs
- Approaches to editing and redrafting
- How to reach readers/publication
Times & Dates
The course will be held on Tuesday evenings between 18.30 and 20.00 over 10 sessions. It will be taught online over Zoom rather than face to face. If you would like to take this course but cannot do it at this time, please let us know.
- Week 1: Tuesday 23 Feb
- Week 2: Tuesday 2 Mar
- Week 3: Tuesday 9 Mar
- Week 4: Tuesday 16 Mar
- Week 5: Tuesday 23 Mar
- 2 Week Easter Break
- Week 6: Tuesday 13 Apr
- Week 7: Tuesday 20 Apr
- Week 8: Tuesday 27 Apr
- Week 9: Tuesday 4 May
- Week 10: Tuesday 11 May
There are no set texts. You will be given a reading list, recommending books of interest to support your development as a writer, but no purchase of additional resources is required.
Assessment and Entrance Requirements
There are no entrance requirements. No prior study of writing or of literature is expected. If you are interested in writing fiction and (most importantly) enjoy reading fiction regularly, you should find this course suits you.
There are no transferrable credits and no mandatory assessments. At the end of the course you may submit one piece of writing (up to 1000 words), for detailed critical feedback from the tutor. This is not compulsory.
About the Tutor
As well as writing fiction, Dr David Wharton lectures in education at the University of Leicester. David has taught Creative Writing in various contexts. His acclaimed first novel, Finer Things (Sandstone Press, 2019), drew together the disparate worlds of Art School Bohemia and East End crime in early 1960s London. He is currently completing his second, the story of a short-lived and unsuccessful indie band.