LT908-7-SP-CO:
Writing the Novel

The details
2019/20
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Spring
Postgraduate: Level 7
Current
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
20
20 August 2019

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

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Key module for

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Module description

This is a module in which students explore the novel form both through practical writing and the reading and analysis of contemporary novels. Novelistic techniques and subjects such as inspiration, character, narrative, genre and revision will be examined. Each seminar will include a workshop based around student writing, inspired by weekly writing exercises. The final two seminars of the course are entirely given over to workshopping and revising student fiction.

Module aims

The aims of the module are: 1. To increase student awareness of the creative possibilities of the novel and discover advanced practices for developing and scoping 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 advanced understanding of the contemporary novel and its history and how it can inform their own creative practice.

Module learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students should 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 original chapters 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. Practise the habits and discipline of regular prose composition.

Module information

General Reading:
Anders, Charlie Jane, All the Birds in the Sky, 2016
Bellow, Saul, Seize the Day, 1956
Cole, Teju, Open City, 2011
Diaz, Junot, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, 2007
Forster, EM, Aspects of the Novel, 1927
Franzen, Jonathan, Freedom, 2010
Franzen, Jonathan, 'Why Bother: The Harper's Essay', How to be Alone, 1996, 2002
Kafka, Franz, Metamorphosis, 1916, 1933
Lethem, Jonathan, The Squandered Promise of Science Fiction, Genre and how to break it
Matheson, Richard, I am Legend, 1954
McCarthy, Tom, Remainder, 2005
Tom McCarthy interview in The Believer http://www.believermag.com/issues/200806/?read=interview_mccarthy
McEwan, Ian, On Chesil Beach, 2007
Offill, Jenny, Department of Speculation, 2014
Shields, David, Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, 2010, Sections 1-71
Smith, Zadie, NW, 2012
Updike, John, Couples, 1968, pp.1-22
Wood, James, 'Monica Ali's Novelties' in The Irresponsible Self: On Laughter and the Novel, 2004

Secondary Reading

Amis, Martin, The War Against Cliche: Essays and Reviews 1971-2000 (Jonathan Cape, 2001).
Baxter, Charles, Burning Down the House (Graywolf Press, 1997).
Bradbury, Ray, Zen in the Art of Writing (Joshua Odell Editions, 1996).
Editors of the Paris Review, The Paris Review Interviews vol.1, vol.2, vol.3 (Canongate, 2007).
Forster, EM, Aspects of the Novel (Edward Arnold, 1927).
Franzen, Jonathan, How to be Alone (Fourth Estate, 2002).
Gardner, John, On Becoming a Novelist (Perennial Library, 1983).
The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers (Vintage Books, 1991).
Kundera, Milan, The Art of the Novel (Grove Press, 1988).
Le Guin, Ursula, Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew, (Eighth Mountain Press, 1999)
Lodge, David, The Art of Fiction, 1992.
Mullan, John, How Novels Work (OUP, 2006).
Shields, David, Reality Hunger (Hamish Hamilton, 2010).
Thomas, Scarlett, Monkeys with Typewriters: How to Write Fiction and Unlock the Secret Power of Stories, 2012
VanderMeer, Jeff, Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction, 2013
Wood, James, How Fiction Works (Jonathan Cape, 2008).


Learning and teaching methods

Learning and teaching will take place through weekly two-hour seminars, which combine lecture, discussion, individual and group work.

Bibliography*

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

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework 5,000 word fiction submission (2 to 3 ch 100%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Matthew De Abaitua
LiFTS General Office - email liftstt@essex.ac.uk Telephone 01206 872626

 

Availability
No
No
No

External examiner

Prof Ian Charles Davidson
Professor of English and Creative Writing
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (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).

 

Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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