The Beginning of a Novel

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 06 October 2022
Friday 16 December 2022
16 August 2022


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

What is a novel? How did the form originate? How does its relationship with time and space make it particular from other forms and how does it renew itself?

In this module, students will learn how to devise and plan their own novel through the reading and study of a selection of other novels. Seminars will consist of lecturer-led discussions, student discussion of the selected reading, and creative workshops.

The module builds to a creative and critical assessment in which the student submits the outline of a novel, writes its beginning chapters, and submits an essay exploring the learning outcomes of the module through the novels of other writers.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

1. To increase students' awareness of the creative possibilities of the novel and discover various practices for developing and scoping our substantial narrative creative projects.
2. To continue the practice of giving, receiving and redrafting work in response to feedback in the workshop environment.
3. To increase the understanding of the history of the novel, and how it can inform students' own creative practice.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of this module, students will be able to:

1. Identify the significant formal conventions in the novel and critically evaluate their suitability to the student’s own creative practice.
2. Conceive, plan and produce an original creative outline of a novel.
3. Display self-awareness of writing and planning technique and the process of revision and redrafting of fiction.
4. Develop the emotional intelligence required to give and receive feedback in workshop groups.
5. Practice the habits and discipline of regular prose composition.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

Anticipated teaching delivery: Weekly 2-hour seminar


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Participation     5% 
Coursework   Creative portfolio: the beginning of a novel (1,000 word outline of a novel and a 2,000 word draft of first chapter/chapters)   06/01/2023  65% 
Coursework   Critical analysis: three books by writers on their writing practices and three novels by different writers that inspire and provide context to your own creative project (1,500 words)   06/01/2023  30% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Jon Crane, email:
Mr Matthew De Abaitua, email:
Dr Jon Crane
LiFTS General Office, email: Telephone: 01206 872626



External examiner

Dr Eleanor Perry
University of Kent
Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry)
Available via Moodle
Of 30 hours, 30 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

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