The poet Keats said “That which is creative must create itself” and this course has been developed with that in mind. Students are invited to become involved with the curriculum to the degree that their contributions can influence the outcome of the course.
The course operates on several different levels, increasing students’ awareness of a range of writing techniques at the same time as guiding them in the production of their own work. “Masterclasses” reveal the working methods of successful creative writers, drawing on the works of both traditional and contemporary authors, and in this way students build up a “tool kit” based on demonstrations of the tried and tested working methods and technical strategies as practised by famous writers.
Some of the issues and techniques considered are: –
The relationship between writing and publishing. Writers, readers and authors
Intention and expression. Meaning. How much meaning is there in a text?
Creating the ‘Illusion of Life’
The tool kit. From a word to a book
Punctuation, onomatopoeia, diction, syntax, rhythm, rhyme, metaphor
The stream of consciousness novel. Representations of reality
Spontaneity, free association and surrealism
Narrative, plot, description, character and commentary
From monologue to dialogue. Prose, verse and drama
Horizontal and vertical aspects of writing
Working up a story. Red herrings and the manipulation of the reader
The Great Tones – Lyrical/Satirical Tapping the Unconscious
The Great Rhythms – Comedy and Tragedy
Students produce their own work, both individually and on a collaborative basis, which is developed and assessed in guided workshops. Individual work is led by the students themselves on the basis of one-on-one tutorial sessions, and can take any appropriate form: verse, prose or drama. The course is varied with literary games and exercises, ranging from free expression to highly structured fieldwork and research.
This class is normally delivered over one term, with approximately 90 teaching contact hours or equivalent in the Michaelmas term, and 60 teaching contact hours for Hilary and Trinity terms. For students requesting credit, we recommend the transfer of three college credits for Michaelmas and two college credits for Hilary and Trinity, on successful completion of the class.
Assessment is continuous and will enable a variety of skills to be measured.
All work must be word-processed. One of the theoretical pieces and one of the practical pieces will be completed in the classroom. A short thesis will be required at the end of the course. All of the work produced will be gathered together in a portfolio.