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A174 Start Writing Fiction

A174 Student Website

OU A174 Course Description

Get Writing

Publisher's Association

Society of Authors

Writer's Guild of Great Britain

Fiona's (tutor) website


Writers Write

Absolute Write

Writing Corner

Literature: What Makes a Good Short Story?

Writing Fiction: A Beginner's Guide

A Very Short Story!!

Back to OU

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3rd May 2005

Done it! :)

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25th March 2005

Good Friday - and I sent off the 2nd TMA this morning!! Way early - but at least there's something there - and I can always resubmit up until the cut-off date. Got 85% for the first one! :) See blog for more.

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(TMA00 was a dummy, thus the 0%!)

27th January 2005

Well, no materials have yet arrived, but the course website and all conferences opened today. All of the course is online, really - and the block contents are as follows:

Block 1 Setting Out

Getting started
Tips on revision and editing
Reading as a writer
Keeping a writer’s journal
Finding subject matter
Believable fiction
Keeping going

Block 2 - Character, Setting and Genre


Block 3 - Plot, Narrative and Time

Plot (why)
Narrative (how)
Time (when)

Block 4 - Narrative Point of View

The function of point of view
The main options
Point of view and story length
Point of view and realism
Tense and degrees of realism
Unreliable narrators
Tense and degrees of sympathy
Preparing for eTMA 02

Block 5 - Beginnings

What is a beginning?
Where to begin?
Towards eTMA 02
Towards the ending

26th December 2004

Just registered for the February 2005 presentation of this course (starts 5th February).

Have you ever thought of writing short stories or trying your hand at a novel? This course will show you how to fire your creativity and imagination as well as equipping you with the basic narrative strategies. You will study and practise plot and story-structure, character creation, place, and voice. You will be encouraged to build up a regular practice of writing by keeping a writer's notebook, doing warm up exercises, and reading as a writer, adding to your repertoire of techniques by examining other writers' methods. Online discussions with your tutor and group will help you to develop and revise your work. There will be two assessed pieces of work: the first one a set of exercises written to a given theme; the second an entire short story or the beginning part of a longer narrative. The course is written by a novelist and is supported by an audio CD containing interviews with several novelists talking about their own inspirations and methods.

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