What is the course about?
This course will cover the basic aspects of novel writing, and is ideal for intermediate students who have an idea for a novel or a novel in progress. The syllabus will cover a wide variety of techniques including character, point of view, dialogue, structure and style. There is also an element of workshop in this course.
The Tutor: Vicky Grut’s short fiction has been included in new writing anthologies published by Picador, Granta, Duckworths, Serpents’ Tail and Bloomsbury. Her novel Human Geography was shortlisted for the 2017 Caledonia Novel Award. She has worked as a freelance editor, as a creative writing lecturer for the Open University, London South Bank University and the University of Greenwich, and she reads for the manuscript critiquing agency The Literary Consultancy. Her collected stories will be published in October 2018 by Holland Park Press. She is currently working on a creative nonfiction travel book.
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?
- Issues of craft and content, including character, point of view, structure and style
- Examination of technical elements including dialogue, scene-building, and effective writing on a sentence-by-sentence level
- Keeping the reader's interest
- Workshopping of students' work.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Respond to and assess pieces of writing with sensitivity
- Apply your critical and editorial skills more effectively
- Demonstrate familiarity with a wide range of techniques for effective prose writing
- Complete at least one chapter of your novel.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for those with some experience of writing fiction who wish to learn more about the craft of novel writing and begin or continue with a long-form project of their own. You should be an ethusiastic reader of novels.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You'll be taught through a systematic discussion of issues, problem-solving, writing exercises, and peer evaluation. You will be expected to develop your own writing outside of class and prepare work for submission to workshop. The tutor may set reading and writing assigments designed to support your project as homework.
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?
Please bring pen and paper, and a page of your novel to the first session. You will be expected to submit work prior to class by a set deadline. You are welcome to bring a laptop or tablet to class to use during in-class writing assignments if it will help you.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You can progress to Developing your novel, which will encourage you to share more of your work and explore craft concepts in greater depth.
Our Craft Focus series is also available to writers who wish to focus on an isolated element of fiction writing craft. We offer short intensive courses in developing character, plot, setting, point of view, and more. See our website or contact the department for advice on how you can develop a programme of fiction writing study.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for Build writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. 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