Start Writing Crime Fiction with Nicola Upson
Crime fiction is the biggest-selling genre in the UK and this course will help you to incorporate its building blocks into your own writing. Join Nicola Upson, author of the Josephine Tey books, to explore the genre’s themes and appeal, looking at creating credible worlds and characters, developing and structuring story and building page-turning, tension-filled scenes.
Classes are capped at 15 places to ensure a high-quality experience. Book quickly to secure your place.
Special offer: All creative writing online courses include a free 12-week digital subscription to Granta Magazine!
What the course covers
- The Starting Point – what is the appeal of crime fiction? We look at generating material using news stories
- The Elements of the Crime Story – we identify the core elements of crime fiction, and how to apply them to story structure
- Endearing Monsters – the role of characters in your stories and how to develop living, breathing characters
- Genre and Detail – we look at the sub-genres of crime fiction, and how to find the devil in the detail
- Crime Story Structure – the plot dynamics of crime fiction, point of view, voice and tense. Plus: Plotter of Pantser?
- Ethics and Edits – examining the ethical issues of contemporary crime fiction, and how to edit your work into something even better
On this course, you will:
- Explore what crime fiction consists of and why it is so popular
- Build a bank of story ideas
- Understand what sub-genre of crime fiction interests you, and why
- Explore the structure of crime fiction and how to build a plot
- Learn the building blocks of good writing.
- Learn how to create believable characters
- Learn how to build stories using details
- Develop an understanding of point of view
- Explore the importance of setting
- Learn about creating suspense
About your tutor
Nicola Upson was born in Suffolk and read English at Downing College, Cambridge. She has worked in theatre and as a freelance journalist, and is a regular contributor to a number of radio networks.
Her critically acclaimed crime novels featuring the author and playwright Josephine Tey have been praised as ‘historical crime fiction at its very best’ (Sunday Times) and ‘a masterstroke of literary theft’ (Independent on Sunday). Set in the 1930s, they weave original murder mysteries around a celebration of Tey’s life and work, featuring events which defined those years and bridging the Golden Age and the contemporary. The series debut, An Expert in Murder, was dramatised by BBC Scotland for Radio 4, and praised by PD James as marking ‘the arrival of a new and assured talent’; the latest, Nine Lessons, was a Publisher’s Weekly Best Mystery of 2017 and shortlisted for the 2018 CWA Historical Dagger.
Nicola’s non-fiction works include Mythologies: the Sculpture of Helaine Blumenfeld (Overlook Press). She is the recipient of an Escalator Award from the Arts Council England, and her first standalone novel, Stanley and Elsie, came out earlier this year.
Sorry for the Dead, Nicola’s eighth ‘Josephine Tey’ mystery, will be published by Faber in November. She lives with her partner in Cambridge and Cornwall.
Don’t miss Nicola talking to us at the Noirwich Crime Writing Festival about writing historical crime fiction:
How it works
All you need is a computer and an internet connection. You can find out more about the requirements here.
The course is divided into six modules. Each module consists of reading and commenting on a short story, exploring an area of crime fiction theory, three short exercises to develop a craft aspect of writing crime fiction and a longer assignment. The assignments develop from the writing exercises and build cumulatively to help you develop a finished project.
The modules are posted fortnightly. Every two weeks you will submit an assignment to your tutor, who will then respond with constructive feedback and advice.
Designed by the University of East Anglia and the National Centre for Writing.
This course is brought to you by the creators of the Noirwich Crime Writing Festival