Module Identifier ENM5020  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Professor Jeremy P Poster  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   5 x 2-hour seminars  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Students will present either one or two complete short stories, each with its own explanatory/evaluative commentary highlighting methods and intentions. It is expected that the finished product will be derived substantially from material produced for class discussion, though there will be some flexibility on this point. (Students should note, however, that the work submitted must have been substantially or entirely written during the semester in question.) Total length 5000 words, of which a minimum of 1000 words and a maximum of 2000 words should be commentary. 100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit failed elements100%

Learning outcomes

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

1. demonstrate, in both creative and evaluative writing, an understanding of different genres and registers; of narrative viewpoint and voice; of the requirements of plot and character; and of the nature and role of dialogue in fiction;

2. demonstrate, both in their creative work and through their evaluative writing, an appropriate level of relevant factual research;

3. reveal, both in their creative work and through their evaluative writing, an awareness of their intended readership;

4. reveal, both in their creative work and through their evaluative writing, an appropriate understanding of the wider context of literary fiction;

5. reveal, both in their creative work and through their evaluative writing, an appropriate awareness of the meaning and implications of words and the rules governing their use;

6. identify problems in their own writing and that of others, and apply themselves to discovering solutions to those problems;

7. engage effectively in group discussion, offering stringent but supportive criticism of the work of their fellow-students, and responding appropriately to criticism offered by others.


The module is designed to provide insights into, and practice in, the writing of fiction, with a particular emphasis on technique in relation to such matters as: tone, point of view, plot and character definition and dialogue.

Brief description

This module offers the opportunity to assess and practice a range of approaches to the writing of fiction, with appropriate reference to the work of contemporary writers. Members of the group will be expected to pursue a relevant but non-prescriptive programme of reading; and to present weekly, for comment and supportive criticism by the group, anticipatory work carried out during the preceding week and geared to the focal concerns of the coming session.


Session 1: Kinds of Fiction
Examining a selection of excerpts from contemporary novels, we shall consider questions of genre, register and tone.

Session 2: Narratives and Narrators, Point of View and Voice
Discussion will focus on prescribed student work produced over the preceding week, and the general questions it raises about voice, viewpoint and the structuring of narrative.

Session 3: Shaping Plot
Students will focus on brief short story plot outlines produced during the previous week, noting the opportunities and restrictions implied in their choices and collaboratively exploring the possibilities for further development.

Session 4: Shaping Characters
Students will have been asked to take the central character in their proposed short story and to develop that character in outline form. Discussion will focus on these outlines, relating them to the plot outlines of the previous week and exploring possibilities for further development.

Session 5: Writing Dialogue
Students will have been asked to produce a page of dialogue between two characters from their proposed short stories, and group discussion will address relevant issues. (In the event of there being no dialogue envisaged in the proposals, a relevant alternative may be produced, subject to discussion with the tutor.)

Reading Lists

No specific set texts, but MA students receive a substantial advisory reading list at the beginning of the year. This includes work relevant to this module.


This module is at CQFW Level 7