What you will study
This module is the first part and a compulsory module of the MA in Creative Writing (F71). It is made up of four blocks, each of which will develop your understanding of different approaches to particular genres. You will be introduced to a range of techniques and ideas, and will engage in forum work and peer-to-peer feedback, while honing your ability to read as a writer by analysing a variety of texts relevant to your chosen genres. Choosing from fiction, poetry, script and creative non-fiction, you will study a primary genre (your specialism) and a secondary genre, and therefore define your own pathway through the module.
You will start Block 1 writing in your primary genre and in Block 2 you will write in your secondary genre. In Blocks 3 and 4 you will revert to your primary genre but reap the rewards of widening your generic awareness. No matter which genre you opt to specialise in, the module will culminate with you writing a substantial piece of creative work.
Block 1: In this block you will study your primary genre. The weekly study will cover essentials, reintroducing ideas and techniques that may be familiar from undergraduate study and taking them further in terms of sophistication and complexity. Topics covered include point of view, plot and setting in fiction; figurative language, voice and structure in poetry; dialogue, scene and character in script; and research, memoir and narrative-shaping techniques in creative nonfiction. You will engage in the exchange and critiquing of work within your peer group.
Block 2: In this block you will select a secondary genre. For instance, if your primary genre is fiction, you might now choose poetry as your secondary genre and work through topics such as figurative language, voice and structure; or you might choose script and cover topics such as dialogue, scene and character. You will start thinking about your end-of-module submission and further develop your peer reviewing and critiquing skills. You will also refine your approaches to commenting and writing reflectively on your writing process.
Block 3: The materials and activities in this block will advance your understanding of your chosen genre, focussing on some of its finer points as well as introducing more challenging techniques and themes. Topics covered range from rhetoric, maximalism and minimalism, and subgenres in fiction; characterisation, experimentalism and personal poetics; collaboration, structure and adaptation in script; and the lyric essay, place writing and style in creative nonfiction.
Block 4: The final block is comprised largely of independent study, during which time you will develop a substantial piece of creative writing; your end-of-module assessment. In the taught units you will reflect on issues of professional practice, as well as approaches to planning and editing.
Throughout this module you will encounter guided activities and prompts to stimulate your writing and thinking. However, there is a much greater emphasis on generating and developing your own ideas independently than exists at undergraduate level.
Online tutor-group forums will enable peer-group discussion of your work. You will be expected to engage in these activities, giving impersonal, informed and objective evaluations of your own and others; work through constructive criticism. You will be assessed on this work, as well as on your ability to generate, develop, write and edit your creative writing, and on your ability to reflect upon, write about and contextualise your creative process.
You will learn
On this module you will:
- develop writing skills and an awareness of approaches to writing in multiple genres: fiction, poetry, life writing and script for film, radio or stage;
- develop and hone sophisticated writing skills in at least one of those genres;
- engage in sharing, critiquing and reviewing work in a variety of genres;
- prepare a substantial piece of work to a professional standard
- refine your reflective approaches to literature and your own practice