Writing Fiction (Online)

Improving | Fiction
Whether you're just starting out or trying to revitalise your writing process, find your feet in fiction with this intensive twelve-week course – and learn to write in a way that belongs entirely to you.

This three-month course is designed for fiction writers who are starting out, or for those who have already begun but perhaps feel the need of a course correction. You want to write fiction, of course you do. But you want to write your own fiction. Fiction that is distinctive, new. Fiction that comes out of your own subjective experience of the world, and out of your own subjective reading of great literature. Fiction that is yours.

With plenty of contact time with the tutor to offer strong support, Writing Fiction offers an involved three months of exploration.

The questions we'll be exploring are:

  • Why fiction? Why make things up in the first place?
  • It’s all been done already, hasn’t it? How can you come up with something new?
  • What does it mean to write about what you know? How on earth can you write about what you don’t know?
  • What makes a reader care?

The course has a lively, inclusive atmosphere in which discussion and the spirit of engagement foster a supportive and respectful environment. Examinations of technique, process and motivation form a large part of the course. As does reading.

'You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.' – Annie Proulx

With this in mind we'll look at examples of strong, distinctive fiction and at how it can allow us to see the world in new ways. Ways that have been fashioned for us by writers who don’t try to please or persuade, but who put us where they want us to be. This is the sort of writing that lives in the heads of readers, and that’s the sort of writing we want to create.

Your own writing will of course be central, and every student will have their own work read by the others, and will have at least two opportunities to have it discussed in class. These mini-workshops will focus on imagination and language; perspective and point of view; development of character; shaping of scenes; providing texture through imagery, detail and atmosphere; and pace, tension and contrast.

By the end of the course you should be beginning to find your feet in fiction. And importantly, they will be your own feet – the material and style and heart which belong to you. You will have the chance to work on a short story in an environment where you are taken seriously as a writer.

20th April 2021 - 6th July 2021

Availability: In stock

15 Places

The course consists of twelve ninety-minute evening sessions, which will take place on Tuesdays from 7pm–8.30pm via Zoom. There are fifteen places available on the course.

The subject matter of sessions as listed below is a guide only. The exact course content will be adapted to the experience and interests of the group. The detail of the course content is at the discretion of the tutors and the Faber Academy.

Session 1 – 20 April: Introductions
What is fiction? What do you hope to gain by writing it?

Session 2 – 27 April: Imagination
Making things up is a skill. It’s a skill you have, but how rusty is it?

Session 3 – 4 May: Language
What is your favourite word? And why should you never use it?

Session 4 – 11 May: Narrative Voice
Let’s get technical. Where do you put the reader?

Session 5 – 18 May: Character
Creating people. What are you? God? (Spoiler: yes you are.)

Session 6 – 25 May: Dialogue
She said, he said, blah blah blah. Not all of your characters can be strong silent types.

Session 7 – 1 June: Accumulation
Can you be a writer without writing? No! How to make a habit of it.

Session 8 – 8 June: Shape
How to keep your fiction in shape – and what do we mean by that?

Session 9 – 15 June: Not writing
Can you be a writer without writing? Yes! How to keep the habit in check.

Session 10 – 22 June: Editing
Cut! Cut! Cut!

Session 11 – 29 June: Finishing
Do you finish a piece of fiction? Or abandon it? Is there a difference?

Session 12 – 6 July: Rounding up; who are you now?

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Keith Ridgway is from Dublin. He is the author of The Long Falling (Faber, 1998, Houghton...

"There's no point staring at a blank page waiting for inspiration to strike - to get your creative muscles working you need to start writing, reviewing and sharing your work."

Helen Shipman