Fiction Studio
Level 5

Fiction Studio (Level 5)

  • Fees Free eligible programme

    Learn more(external link)

  • Locations and dates

    Nelson:

    22 February 2021

    Online:

    22 February 2021
  • Total credits

    20

  • Fees

    $527 plus $20 Student Services Levy per course

    Compulsory Student Services Fee also applies ($240 for fulltime students).
    Fees listed are for each year of the programme, indicative only and may vary with course selection. View course details for individual fees.

  • National qualification code

    NE4878 - Fiction Studio (Level 5)

Online programme.

Fiction is the stuff of our dreams, imaginings and fantasies. Writing fiction may well be the single-most significant expression of contemporary creative writing.

To receive the Nonfiction Studio award(external link) you must complete two courses; Writing Short Stories and The Novel and Novella.

In Writing Short Stories, you will develop the skills, techniques and processes that are fundamental to all fiction writing but practise them by producing a number of flash fiction pieces (under 1000 words) and short stories (up to 1500 words).

In The Novel and Novella, you will explore what a novel and novella are and work on developing your own novel or novella concept.

What will I learn in these courses?

Writing Short Stories – Semester 1

In this course we will explore the fundamental skills relating to the art and practice of writing short stories. While there may be some debate about the definition of what a 'short' story is, or how long 'short' might be, there is a little dispute that the short story is a subset, or a part of, the practice of writing fiction, which many of us may feel to be the single-most significant expression of contemporary creative writing.

Fiction is the stuff of our dreams, imaginings and fantasies. Although a writer may steal characters, settings and plots, and hoard them like a magpie, they stitch them together in a way that is uniquely theirs and that will reimagine human existence in unexpected and thought-provoking stories and language. For some of you, writing fiction will be stepping into a new world, but one where you are still able to access and process your wealth of life experience.

Writing Short Stories will enable you to develop the skills, techniques and processes that are fundamental to all fiction writing and which can be applied to the full range of fiction genres - but very much within the context of the short story, flash fiction, the short short story. In all of this, you will be exposed to a variety of literature and encouraged to read widely in order to learn from other writers how they have gone about developing their characters and putting them into situations that test them and take the story through the paces of its narrative arc - or plot, as it is more commonly known.

Topics include:

  • Getting started – what is a short story?
  • Character and setting
  • Plot and structure
  • Narration, voice and style
  • Point of view
  • Dialogue and language features
  • Endings

During the course, you will write first drafts of between four and five short stories, polish about three of those for your final folio, and provide feedback to a selection of your peers about their short stories.

The Novel and Novella – Semester 2

In this course you will explore what a novel and novella are and work on developing your own novel or novella concept. The novel, in its many forms, is arguably the most significant and singular expression of contemporary creative writing. As such, it's the form of writing that most people would first think of when they encounter the notion of creative writing, partly because most of us, at some point in our lives - often at a young age - have become absorbed in and engaged by the make-believe world and characters embodied in fiction, from the first children's books and fairy stories our parents read us to the novels we enter now in head-long pursuit of the wonder of story and the occasional glimpse it offers us of some deeper understanding of the human condition.

This course will introduce you to and help you develop the skills, techniques and processes that are fundamental to writing long-form fiction. In completing the course, you will be exposed to a variety of readings within the genre and related videos - and will be encouraged to read widely and reflect on novels you have already read in order to put into your own novel-writing practice techniques other writers have used in developing their novels and novellas.

During the course, we will revisit all of the fiction writing techniques covered in DCW505 Writing Short Stories (see above).

It's only a 10 credit course, so it is expected that you will spend about 100 hours on it, which is not long enough to complete a novel. You will, however, draft between 16 and 20 pages of the beginning of your novel/novella, polish between six and 10 of those pages for your final folio, provide feedback to your peers about their opening pages, and put together an outline of where you story might head next in the form of a synopsis.

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