Getting Started: Beginners' Fiction (Evening)

Starting out | Fiction
What to write about? How to start? How to continue? Is it worth it? Am I any good?

If these are the sort of questions you find yourself asking, this course may be for you. It's designed for those who feel a desire to write fiction but find themselves lacking confidence or motivation or both.

The classes are lively and inclusive, and the atmosphere is one of support, encouragement and respect for your work. We'll be discussing technical matters of course, but we'll also be talking about process and motivation. Reading will form an important part of what we do – you'll be introduced to some great writing from some great writers – and the enthusiasm and ambition that this generates will help you significantly.

But writing will be central. We'll start slowly and gently, with exercises aimed at connecting you with the skills you don't realise you have, and at relaxing you into your own way of doing things. And as the course goes on, you'll get the chance to work on a project of your own. It could be a short story, or two. It could be the start of a novel. By the end of the course your confidence will have grown and you should have begun to find your voice – the material and style that are yours and yours alone. Your writing will be read regularly by the other students, and you'll have a least two opportunities to have your writing discussed in detail in class.

It can be hard work. You'll be reading and writing more during these three months than you probably have in a long time. Your work will be critiqued, and you'll be challenged as well as encouraged. But everyone in the room will take you seriously as a writer. For twelve weeks, you will be a fiction writer. After that, it's up to you.

28th April 2020 - 14th July 2020

Availability: Out of stock

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The course consists of twelve two-hour evening sessions, which will take place on Tuesdays from 7pm–9pm. There are 15 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 – Introductions. What is fiction? Why write it?

Session 2 – What to write about. What you know? Or what you don't know?

Session 3 – What language will you be using? And how do you go about learning it?

Session 4 – Point of view and perspective. Where do you stand? Where do your characters stand?

Session 5 – The character conundrum. Who do these people think they are?

Session 6 – Dialogue and conversation – the weird science of letting your characters speak.

Session 7 – Accumulating material. Drafts, plans, and the longer work that no one will ever read.

Session 8 – Building a story – architecture, structure, and the whereabouts of your nearest exit.

Session 9 – Not writing. The important business of going for a very long walk.

Session 10 – Editing, cutting, fiddling and adjusting – the fun part.

Session 11 – Fitting everything in your head – some ideas about how to keep going.

Session 12 – Rounding up: review and conclusion

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Keith Ridgway is from Dublin. He is the author of The Long Falling (Faber, 1998, Houghton Mifflin, 1998), Standard Time (Faber, 2...



Come to one of the world's great literary cities and study creative writing at Faber Academy's home in historic Bloomsbury. Our London courses take place at Faber and Faber's offices.

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