Module Information

Module Identifier
WR20220
Module Title
Beginning the Novel
Academic Year
2018/2019
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Professor Kevin Mills (Professor - University of South Wales)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Assignment 1: Creative Portfolio of 2500 words  A 1,500 word opening of a novel - the first portfolio must be either psychological / realist, or historical fiction, together with a critical commentary of 1,000 words on the creative piece submitted, comparing it in detail to the set text in the same mode (and optionally, to another set text) (Weighted 60% story and 40% commentary).  50%
Semester Assessment Assignment 2: Creative Portfolio of 2500 words  A 1,500 word opening of a novel - this second portfolio must be either speculative or crime fiction, together with a critical commentary of 1,000 words) on the creative piece submitted, comparint it in detail to the set text in the same mode (and optionally, to another set text). (Weighted 60% story and 40% commentary).  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit failed or missed Assignment 1:  Creative Portfolio of 2500 words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit failed or missed Assignment 2  Creative Portfolio  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate a critical and technical awareness of novels in psychological/realist, historical, speculative and crime modes.

2. Demonstrate a critical and technical awareness of methods of beginning a novel.

3. Write novel openings appropriate to at least two of the fictional modes.

4. Explain in critical prose, the techniques and problems of writing fiction in each of the four modes.

Brief description

The module deals with four different approaches to fiction: psychological and realist; historical; speculative; and crime and mystery. For each approach, students will study an exemplary text, aiming to learn as much as possible about its technical and artistic methods, while at the same time, through the comparison with other texts, enlarging their understanding of the many different possibilities of fictional writing. From these four approaches, they will choose two for their portfolios.

Content

1 Introduction to the module: modes and genres. Students will be given extracts from novels in each of the set modes, discuss differences of theme and technique, and practise writing in each mode.

2-3 Psychological and realist fiction. Students will discuss this mode, with reference to Muriel Spark’s A Far Cry from Kensington. Workshopping of psychological / realist fiction.

4-5 Historical fiction. Students will discuss this mode, with reference to Andrew Miller’s Pure. Workshopping of historical fiction.

6 Beginning a novel. Students will look at some novel beginnings, discuss possible approaches to opening a novel, and practise writing effective beginnings.

7-8 Speculative fiction. Students will discuss this mode, with reference to Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend. Workshopping of speculative fiction.

9-10 Crime fiction. Students will discuss this mode, with reference to Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr Ripley. Workshopping of crime fiction.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number n/a
Communication Through workshops and seminar discussion, written through assignment.
Improving own Learning and Performance Through improving work in response to peer and tutor feedback.
Information Technology Through use of blackboard and wordprocessing.
Personal Development and Career planning Through critical self-reflection; transferable communication and research skills.
Problem solving Through dealing with roblems of writing and research.
Research skills Through online research.
Subject Specific Skills Practical proficiency in creative writing; literary research and criticism.
Team work Through collaboration in workshops and seminars.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 5