30 credits at level HE7
This module is the first of two which concentrate on writing prose fiction and is a CORE module for those concentrating on this area.
The main aims are:
1. to facilitate the choice of areas of practical research into specific lives which will become the basis of this module's creative fiction;
2. to initiate the students' chosen main fictional project - short story(ies) or part of a novel;
3. to develop the students' advanced understanding of techniques and form related to fiction and to ensure that they are able to articulate the ways in which their creative aims are supported by relevant theory;
4. to develop the students' awareness of contemporary prose fiction writing and to encourage the students to be able to place their own work in the context of contemporary published work.
This module will make use of the students' exisiting experience and skills that qualified them to start work at Masters level as well as the outcomes of module MA1. The basic aim of MA2b is to get students started on a piece of fiction - short story(ies) or part of a novel. They will be encouraged to ask how we create a fictional world. Through workshop discussions it is expected that students will recognise, articulate and develop their own creative methods in developing fictional worlds. It is expected that all students will make use of some common aims and experience to help to answer this question. As a stimulus, students will propose, discuss and develop some basic specific 'research' area(s) into particular lives. Students will explore the use of interview techniques, archival material, self-inquiry and other forms of research. The shared experience of carrying out the research and using it for the basis of fiction will be the major concern of this module. In addition, students will be developing a sophisticated awareness of specific fictional techniques and examining relevant examples of published prose fiction. Students should make use of current journals and magazines that publish fiction and will be expected to be familiar with some of those held in the Library. Students are expected to attend at least two of the readings given by poets, novelists and dramatists provided by the University or elsewhere during this module and to make use of the experience of contact with such writers in their own creative work and critical commentaries.
This is a 30 credit module, delivered over 14 weeks, structured around independent research and/or experiential projects. The work will be divided into several main areas:
1. Critical readings and discussion of theory of ‘writing lives’ and some relevant fictions;
2. On-going research relative to the chosen piece of fiction
3. Introduction & discussion of the students’ proposed writing project
4. Workshop exercises
5. Attendance at and reflection on readings and other relevant events.
This is a module based on 1 semester’s work for 14 weeks. Normal class contact per week is 3 hrs (total 42 hrs.). Total student notional learning time is 300 hours (30 credits at 1 credit = 10 learning hours).
• Tutor-led introduction to principles of ‘writing lives’ [10% of 42 hrs = approx. 4.2 hrs; 1.4% of student’s total learning time]
• Self-organised research and independent reading of texts [70% of 42 hrs = approx. 30 hrs; 10% of students’ total learning time]
• Group learning and development of self-critical skills [20% of 42 hrs = approx. 8.5hrs; 2.8% of students’ total learning time]
when you have successfully completed this module you will:
to demonstrate that you have achieved the learning outcome you will:
|1.||have the ability to write up one or more charact(s) in a piece of fiction; and to be able to say why these characters, work/'come to life' within the piece and how its achieved
have a familiarity with relevant models from contemporary fiction
show the breadth and depth of your understanding of the life/lives of your characters and how they work within the fictional framework;
show breadth and depth in your commentary in your understanding of how your techniques compare with other published writers.
|2.||have the ability to identify a likely ‘subject’ or subjects and proceed independently with an organized piece of in-depth research;
have the ability to reflect on this process.
show convincingness of the argument for choosing the intended subject, as reflected in the depth and breadth of the biographical study/studies;
show depth and complexity of understanding of personal, social and ideological factors involved, as demonstrated in the critical commentary.
|3.||have the ability to carry out organized step-by-step research or conduct semi-formal interviews relevant to writing fiction;
have the ability to write up the research in a way that will fuel further creative treatment.
show accuracy and range of that research, according to specific formal criteria;
show accuracy and range of content revealed in the biographical study.
|4.||have the ability to review manuscripts;
be able to demonstrate interpersonal skills in doing ‘life’ interviews and research;
have personal confidence in achieving the set outcomes;
have the ability to share the process of independent research with seminar members in constructive and self-critical process.
show cogency and relevance of material assimilated
be able to demonstrate in a sophisticated way the creative relevance of the material assimilated;
show depth of self-awareness in reflecting on that process of experiment and change;
show relevance of self-reflection on the communication process.
Your achievement of the learning outcomes for this module will be tested as follows:
|Description||1. A portfolio of short prose fragments based on workshop exercises||2. One or two auto/biographical character studies of an ‘examined written life’ or other studies which reflect chosen rsearch of a total of 5,000 words||3. A critical commentary of 2,000 words exploring the research process, and the ways that it, and your other reading, has informed your creative work.|
There are no prerequisites for this module.
and/or be taking the following corequisite modules:
No restrictions apply.
• Miscellaneous novel extracts to be chosen by tutor for workshop exercises;
• Selected Fiction (indicative examples):
Michael Cunningham, The Hours
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
Julian Barnes Flaubert’s Parrot
Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace
AS Byatt, Possession
Linda Grant, When I Lived in Modern Times
Carol Shields, The Stone Diaries, 4th Estate
Journals including: Ambit, London Magazine, Myslexia, The Reader, Granta, Stand
Jenny Newman Edmund Cusick & Aileen La Tourette, The Writer's Workbook, London: Arnold, 2000
Shlomoth Rimon-Kenan, Narrative Fiction, Routledge: London, 1983
Julia Bell & Paul Magrs (eds.), The Creative Writing Coursebook: Forty Authors Share Advice and Exercises for Fiction and Poetry, London: Pan, 2001
Ailsa Cox, The Short Story, Routledge 2005
Janet Burroway, Writing Fiction: A guide to narrative craft,
Martin Montgomery et al, Ways of Reading, Routledge 2nd edn. 2000
Loreto Todd, An Introduction to Linguistics, Longman 1987
J A Cuddon, Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory,
Jermey Hawthorn, A Glossary of Contemporary Literary Theory, Arnold 2000
Philip Rice & Patricia Waugh eds., Modern Literary Theory, Arnold 4th edn.
David Lodge, The Art of Fiction, Penguin
|Host Subject Group:||Creative Studies|
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