Writing Fiction

Learn to Write Fiction: Learn how to write engaging characters, settings, plots and how to structure a story. If fiction is your forté, this is the course for you.

Course CodeBWR105
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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    If fiction is your forté this is the course for you!

    Learn How to Write Fiction: produce engaging characters, settings, plots and learn how to structure a story. 

    What is Fiction Writing?

    Fiction is writing that includes imaginary characters, events and/or settings created by the writer. All of the components of a fictitious story do not necessarily need to be fictitious though:

    • Imaginary characters might be set in a real world setting such as a well known city or a particular country.
    • Characters might be fictitious, but set in a “real” event. For example, you might write about the experiences of a fictitious character during World War II.
    • Real characters may be used for a fictitious story that embraces an imaginary event or setting (eg. a story about William Shakespeare traveling through time, or something more realistic, like a summers holiday at a fictitious beach resort, taken by a famous historical figure such as Mozart!)

    Comments from our Writing Fiction students:

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this course. Thank you for making it available"    S. Cooke

    "Having a (tutor available) who is able to critique my work was essential. I needed to know where my strengths and weaknesses lie. An informed and knowledgeable tutor helps a lot".    Wendy

    Lesson Structure

    There are 8 lessons in this course:

    1. Scope and Nature of Fiction
      • Elements
      • Types of Fiction (Category/genre and Mainstream)
      • Characteristics of Category Fiction (strong plot, hero/heroine, motivation. Action, background/setting)
      • Characteristics of Mainstream Fiction (Strong plot, Action or intrigue, hero, heroine, romance, happy ending)
      • Book, play or short story
      • Categories (Fantasy, fairy tale, fable, myth, legend, science fiction, western, drama, romance, comedy, horror, crime, suspense, erotica)
      • Getting an Idea (using a fragment, philosophical approach, develop from a title or opening sentence)
      • Back story
      • Types of writing
      • Theme development
      • Write an Analogy
      • Writing a Balanced Theme
      • Are You Suited to Writing Fiction ; Imagination, Being Informed, Human Behaviour
      • Importance of Focus
    2. Components of a Story
      • Story Components
      • Story Structure
      • Theme
      • Plot
      • Characterisation
      • Settings
      • Developing your own Style
      • Aspects of Style
      • Case Study
    3. Technique
      • Conception (Characters, Settings, Events)
      • Write a Synopsis
      • Developing a Story
      • Examples of Plot Structure
      • Method Writing (Developing characters, changing characters, Appropriateness of characters, Revealing characters through crisis, names, stereotypes, creating dynamic characters)
      • Writing a Draft
      • Editing and Rewriting
    4. Conception and Research
      • Conceiving a Story
      • Parts of Conception
      • Making conception original
      • Types of research (Primary and secondary data)
      • Planning a formal survey
    5. Drama
      • Writing a Dramatic Story
      • Common mistakes
      • Time Shifting
      • Transition between events
      • Dramatic conflict
      • Motivation
      • Dialogue
      • Point of View
      • Representing Characters Speech
    6. Fantasy
      • Science Fiction
      • Methods to develop Sci Fi
      • Fairy Tales
    7. The Short Story
      • Characteristics of Short Stories
      • Length in terms of: the time frame; the number of characters; the number of events; the number of settings
      • Common Problems with Short story Writers
    8. The Novel
      • Guidelines
      • Planning a Novel
      • Making a story Endure (Archetypes, etc)
      • Tips
      • Getting Started
      • Submitting a Manuscript
      • Which Publisher

    Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


    • Describe the nature and scope of fiction writing.
    • Determine the components of a fiction story, as the first step in planning a story.
    • Determine a systematic approach to building a fiction story.
    • Develop your capacity to conceive fiction stories.
    • Develop your ability to write dramatic stories.
    • Develop your ability to write fantasy.
    • Develop your ability to write short stories.
    • Develop your ability to plan for success in the writing of a novel.

    What is Fiction Writing?

    Fiction There are traditionally two types of fiction:
    1. CATEGORY     Also referred to as ‘genre’, these stories have a distinct theme and as such are easy to categorise. Examples of category or genre fiction are science fiction, westerns, adventure, historical, romance, erotica, mystery, suspense, fantasy and war stories.
    2. MAINSTREAM     These stories are aimed at the widest possible audience. They typically deal with most aspects of modern life including relationships, careers, and the search for success and fulfillment. Popular mainstream writers include Jeffrey Archer, Jackie Collins, Colleen McCullough and James Michener.

    Who can benefit from this course?

    Writing Fiction is perfect for aspiring writers looking for guidance in getting started, or who want support and encouragement from a tutor.

    Writers seeking helpful and informative critiques or a supportive introduction to workshopping. This course will help writers of all levels build confidence in their abilities, or improve their fundamentals.

    This course is also well-suited to writers wanting a deeper understanding of genre, modes, and writing types, or an introduction to the theoretical underpinnings of creative writing.

    At the end of this course you will:

    • Know the difference between several genres and types of writing
    • Understand key writing concepts such as theme, characterisation, and ideation
    • Understand the common errors and pitfalls in writing, and how to avoid them
    • Understand how to revise and improve your work
    • Understand how to apply good writing practice and theory to create well-written, engaging stories and other creative works
    • Draft a creative piece and develop a plan to move forward with it


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    Jacinda Cole

    Former operations manager for highly reputable Landscape firm, The Chelsea Gardener, before starting his own firm. Gavin has over 20 years of industry experience in Psychology, Landscaping, Publishing, Writing and Education. Gavin has a B.Sc., Psych.Cert.
    Rachel Syers

    Rachel has worked as a newspaper journalist for the past 15 years in a range of roles from sub-editor and social columnist to news reporter, covering rounds such as education, health, council, music, television, court, police, Aboriginal and Islander affa
    Tracey Jones

    Widely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience. Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Lear