Fiction Writing Level 3

Open Study College

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Working on your fiction writing? Improve your technique with this intensive course from Open Study College. You will learn the basic principles of fiction plus techniques which will help you engage your readers with quality writing.

Some of the areas which will be covered include structure, genre, reader identification, plot, tension, and twists. You will also learn to deal with the business side of writing, such as how to work with agents, keep records and pay income tax on your earnings.

This course is conveniently designed for home study, providing you with unbeatable flexibility. You can study whenever and from wherever you would like, and will have access to a tutor via email. The course will be assessed written examinations and you will have one full year to complete the requirements, so you can work at your own pace.

At the end of this course successful learners will receive a level 3 NCFE Award certificate of achievement, signifying that it is independently accredited at a level of learning equivalent to level 3 on The Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) for England, Wales and Northern Ireland (where level 2 and level 3 courses are similar in difficulty to GCSEs and A Levels, respectively). NCFE is recognised as an Awarding Organisation by the qualification regulators for England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

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What you'll learn on the course

Short Story
Reader Identification

Course programme

Study how to write short stories, novels, and screenplays for radio and television using professional writer's techniques. You will also learn about the practical challenges of being a published author on this COURSE.COURSE Content


  • Content
  • Style
  • Techniques
  • Marketing

Unit 1: The Short Story

  • How to study and analyse it
  • Studying the market
  • Overseas markets
  • Writing is a business
  • How do I find ideas?
  • How do I present my manuscript?
  • Where do I find facts?

Unit 2: The Theme

  • Choosing a theme
  • The basic emotion
  • First or third person?
  • Get out of the way!
  • Reader identification
  • Setting
  • Style

Unit 3: The Plot

  • Plotting
  • Accuracy
  • The plot scheme
  • A twist in the tale
  • Finding a plot
  • Conflict, tension and suspense
  • Balance and pace

Unit 4: The Characters

  • Your chief character
  • Names
  • Can people be plots?
  • Characterisation
  • Motives
  • Mannerisms
  • Minor Characters
  • Hero, Heroine, Villain or Clown
  • How people operate

Unit 5: Getting Started

  • How to start?
  • The plot thickens
  • Stuck?
  • Handling Transitions
  • How to end?
  • Your work plan
  • Rules are made to be broken

Unit 6: Title and Dialogue

  • Choosing a title
  • Writing Dialogue
  • Grammar, dialect and slang
  • Types of short story
  • The serial

Unit 7: Practical Details

  • Copyright
  • The laws of defamation
  • Agents and Vanity Publishers
  • Keeping records
  • Payment
  • Income Tax
  • Expenses
  • Writing for radio
  • Writing for television
  • Presenting a TV drama

Unit 8: Writing a Novel

  • Structure
  • Action, Thriller, Mystery
  • Science Fiction
  • Crime & Detective novels
  • Historical novels
  • Serious novels
  • Final points

Achievements for this centre

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