Novel writing

Course Dates: 16/04/18 - 02/07/18
Time: 12:30 - 14:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Jonathan Barnes

Have you started work on your novel? This course is ideal if you are an experienced creative writer and want to explore the principles of novel writing in a supportive workshop environment.

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Novel writing

Description

What is the course about?

This one-term course for experienced creative writers explores the essential techniques of novel writing. If you've started work on your novel, this course will help you to shape your material into a coherent whole, and teach you to develop believable characters, structure scenes, and edit your own work.

There will be no class on Monday 7 May 2018 and Monday 28 May 2018 due to bank holidays.

The Tutor
Jonathan Barnes is the author of three novels. He writes regularly for the Times Literary Supplement and the Literary Review and has contributed to the Arts pages of The Lancet. He is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Kingston University. He is also the author of several full-cast audio dramas from Big Finish Productions, featuring characters from Sherlock Holmes, Frankenstein and Doctor Who.

Build reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.

What will we cover?

- Developing techniques for novel writing
- The art of constructive criticism and editing your own work
- Creating and honing a character
- Beginnings, endings, and everything in between
- Methods to thwart writers’ block.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Respond to and assess pieces of writing with sensitivity
- Improvein your plotting and editing skills
- Produce a significant portion of a novel
- Identify a clear way forwards in terms of how to complete the novel.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is not a beginners' class. It is best suited for students who have already attended creative writing courses and
have started on a novel.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Some exercises will be set and hand-outs analysed, but the main focus will be on students' own work. You'll be invited to bring in extracts from and drafts of your work and/or to generate new scenes and to read these to the group in turn with a view to developing the writing.

All writing courses at Build will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.

For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

Pens and writing paper. An e-mail address that you would be willing to share with this rest of the group would be helpful.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You may be interested in the How to write novels workshop, or our Advanced critical workshop for creative writers.

All students are invited to join us at Build Talks Back, our monthly performance night for Build writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Visit bildutrapagaran.info/citylittalksback for more details or if you're interested in reading your work. Students are also encouraged to submit to Between the Lines, our annual anthology. Learn more at bildutrapagaran.info/betweenthelines. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on and Twitter.

General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details

Reviews

Customer Reviews 7 item(s)

Write a review
I have attended this course several times. The tutor gives really useful nuggets of information. People get most out of it when they have at least started their novel, it's not a good course for people with no experience as it is a workshop format with very little didactic teaching. We mostly learn by critiquing each other's work and from the tutor's comments.
Course Rating
Review by Scribbler / (Posted on 31/07/2017)
This is a very fruitful course for writers who want to examine the basic tools of novel writing in an informed and informal atmosphere: it introduces the student into a new approach and bristles with useful tips, positive criticism, endless encouragement and a common sense of purpose.
Course Rating
Review by ChrisP / (Posted on 20/02/2017)
I have attended two terms of this course. It is a good course and I really enjoyed it but I really think that people who have written all or at least a fair chunk of their novel will find it most useful.

As mentioned, the emphasis is very much on the reading and reviewing of the other students' work. This does help to improve your critical skills but you do need to allow time out of class to read three or four written presentations each week before the next class. These are emailed round each week.

You also have the chance to have two presentations of around 2,00 words twice in the term and opportunities for 'open mic' when you can bring short, one or two pages, in on other occasions to be reviewed on the spot. Jonathan is very good at making sure that this is not too painful for the presenter, that students mention both what they like and what they don't like. He also provides a short written review of your presentations.

Also, this class is for one term only. Another student who signed on for a second term was most put out to discover that there were nearly all new people, the following term. This does have the disadvantage that you lose the people who were familiar with your draft and have to start again with a new set but it is clearly set out in the prospectus.
Course Rating
Review by QuietLurker / (Posted on 20/02/2017)
This is a useful course but I think how much it will help you, will depend how far you have actually got with your novel. The main focus of the course is to review your own and other writers' work - you get two chances to present a 2,000 word section of your novel in a term plus opportunities for short pieces. This is good for honing your editorial skills. There are also some useful exercises earlier on in the term. The tutor encourages the class to say what they like and don't like about each piece so nobody's piece is savaged. One thing to bear in mind that it is only a 1 term course, if you sign on for another term, you will get a completely new set of people, next term.
Course Rating
Review by ET / (Posted on 20/02/2017)
This is a useful course but I think how much it will help you, will depend how far you have actually got with your novel. The main focus of the course is to review your own and other writers' work - you get two chances to present a 2,000 word section of your novel in a term plus opportunities for short pieces. This is good for honing your editorial skills. There are also some useful exercises earlier on in the term. The tutor encourages the class to say what they like and don't like about each piece so nobody's piece is savaged. One thing to bear in mind that it is only a 1 term course, if you sign on for another term, you will get a completely new set of people, next term.
Course Rating
Review by ET / (Posted on 19/05/2015)
I have attended two terms of this course. It is a good course and I really enjoyed it but I really think that people who have written all or at least a fair chunk of their novel will find it most useful.

As mentioned, the emphasis is very much on the reading and reviewing of the other students' work. This does help to improve your critical skills but you do need to allow time out of class to read three or four written presentations each week before the next class. These are emailed round each week.

You also have the chance to have two presentations of around 2,00 words twice in the term and opportunities for 'open mic' when you can bring short, one or two pages, in on other occasions to be reviewed on the spot. Jonathan is very good at making sure that this is not too painful for the presenter, that students mention both what they like and what they don't like. He also provides a short written review of your presentations.

Also, this class is for one term only. Another student who signed on for a second term was most put out to discover that there were nearly all new people, the following term. This does have the disadvantage that you lose the people who were familiar with your draft and have to start again with a new set but it is clearly set out in the prospectus.
Course Rating
Review by QuietLurker / (Posted on 09/05/2015)
This is a very fruitful course for writers who want to examine the basic tools of novel writing in an informed and informal atmosphere: it introduces the student into a new approach and bristles with useful tips, positive criticism, endless encouragement and a common sense of purpose.
Course Rating
Review by ChrisP / (Posted on 15/04/2015)

This course has now started

Course Code: HW279

Started Mon, day, 16 Apr - 02 Jul '18

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Full fee: £179.00
Senior fee: £179.00
Concession: £72.00
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