Beginners’ Fiction — ten-week evening course at Dragon Hall
Take those exciting first steps into fiction writing with this friendly, supportive ten-week course led by expert tutor and published writer, Ian Nettleton.
Ian has been leading sold-out ‘beginners fiction’ courses at NCW for a number of years. Through a combination of group discussion and one-to-one feedback, he will equip you with the necessary tools to understand and write engaging stories.
The course runs at National Centre for Writing, Dragon Hall, 7 – 9pm, each Monday for ten weeks. There is a half-term break on w/c Mon 24 October.
‘Ian made everyone feel welcomed and the content was in small enough bite-sized pieces that I never felt overwhelmed with information.’ Lacy Lee
‘Ian has such a wide background and packs every minute of the course with information and advice. His attitude is encouraging and non-judgemental. He is the best tutor I have ever had.’ – Sheila Preston
‘Ian is a delightful presence who wears his great learning with lightness and humility. It creates a wonderfully ego free atmosphere.’ — Liz Wiggins
How it works
This course takes place over ten weeks. The first five sessions focus on the essential elements of writing prose fiction, and the last five give everyone the experience to workshop around 500 words of prose. If you haven’t workshopped before, don’t worry – these sessions will be explained nearer the time.
Week 1 – Where do stories come from?
We look at how childhood experiences can lead into writing fiction and the importance of appealing to the reader’s senses.
Week 2 – Creating a character
This week we’ll discuss the importance of characters in fiction. We’ll look at examples of effective characters in fiction and how much (or little) you reveal on the page.
Week 3 – Point of View
We’ll look at the strengths and limitations of the various points of view. We’ll discuss examples of different viewpoints and the ways in which their used effectively.
Week 4 – Setting
We’ll look at how we can make place real, whether that is through research or being specific with small details.
Week 5 – Plotting
We’ll discuss a classic plotline and the ways in which appl;ying a character to the plot will affect the outcome.
Week 6 – Editing, rewriting and workshopping
We look at the importance of editing and rewriting a story. We’ll also begin workshopping your stories.
Weeks 7 – 9 – Workshopping stories
The next three weeks will be spent workshopping your stories.
Week 10 – Readings, feedback and questions
This last week will be an opportunity for general comments and discussions about prose writing, along with an overview of what we have covered over the past ten weeks. It will also be an opportunity for everyone to read out their short story to the group for general feedback. This will be an extra-long three-hour session.
Frequently asked questions
Got a question? Want to learn more about Ian’s course before booking? Visit our FAQ page for answers to common questions.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, email email@example.com
About the tutor
Ian Nettleton has a doctorate in Creative & Critical Writing from UEA (2003). His first novel, The Last Migration, set in the Australian outback, was runner-up for both the 2014 Bath prize for literature and the inaugural Peggy Chapman-Andrews First Novel Award. He has also worked for the BBC as a writer and presenter, critiqued novels for The Literary Consultancy, published short fiction in a number of anthologies and was shortlisted for the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2019.