Creative Writing

32 Hours / Access Length: 180 Days / Delivery: Online, Self-Paced

Course Overview:

In this creative writing course, you will take your prose to the next level and discover how to write for publications.

Students will:
  • How to craft a believable story, characters, and dialogue
  • How to employ essential editing and critical-thinking tools
  • How and when to employ traditional story structures
  • How to employ metaphor and visual storytelling techniques with a focus on visual symbolism for a modern audience
  • How to write for the modern age, achieve originality, and navigate traditionally sensitive or taboo topics fiction

Course Outline:

Module 1:
Lesson 1: The Key Elements of Story       

An overview of the core concepts of story – research, setting, character and dialogue – a basic exploration of The Hero's Journey and its main character archetypes, as well as an overview of the essential tools of the trade needed to write professionally.

Lesson 2: Research         

A look at the essential concepts to consider before researching your work, a crucial look at the types of sources writers will interact with, and an exploration of how to integrate research into fiction – considering the concepts of research storage, balance, and poetic license.

Lesson 3: The Three-Act Structure           

A crucial examination of fiction's most popular narrative structure, getting into the specifics of how the three acts function, how to plot narrative within this framework, and a demystifying discussion of the importance of narrative causality.

Lesson 4: Character development           

A look at the core concepts to consider when constructing characters – with particular focus on the public/private disparity as well as the need for character motivation. We also look at more key character archetypes and learn handy writing tips for writing characters for a modern audience.

Lesson 5: Character, Conflict & Humanity             

A deeper look at character development, with particular focus on the crucial nature of conflict as well as the subcategories thereof. We then look at how to draw up a character bio and, also, how to design a cohesive cast.

Lesson 6: Dialogue          

An important look at what distinguishes dialogue from real-life speech, an elucidation of how the role of dialogue changes across various media of the modern age, as well as a deep dive into how levels of human intimacy guide dialogue.

Lesson 7: Genres of Fiction         

We look at the original Ancient Greek genres, how they grew and now present in the modern age, and also take an important look at the most up-to-date approaches to the concept – with particular focus placed on mixing genres, the alleged 'post-genre' age of writing, as well as how to choose your own.

Lesson 8: Publication     

A step-by-step guide to the process of publication. We look at the pre-publication phases of beta-reading and criticism, learn how to assemble necessary auxiliary documentation, as well as how to handle the process of actual submission and the potential feedback the writer will receive at this point in the process.

Module 2:
Lesson 1: Free-writing & Journaling         

A step-by-step guide through the form and function of the different kinds of free-writing out there, as well as an exploration of how journaling can be employed as a useful long-term writing tool.

Lesson 2: Context, Exposition & Backstory            

A deep-dive into the core differences between these often-confused concepts, as well as learning how to apply them within the Three-Act- and Hero's Journey story structures.

Lesson 3: The first-person POV & Alienation        

An insightful foray into the nuances of the first-person POV, including a critical examination of primary narratological styles, as well as a demystifying discussion of the advanced concepts of alienation and critical distance.

Lesson 4: Second & Third-person POV, & Audience Identification             

An exploration of the second-person POV in all its rarity, a demystification of the subgroups of the near-ubiquitous third-person POV, as well as an important discussion about how audience identification can bolster the goal of a chosen POV.

Lesson 5: Short and Long Fiction              

We look at the core differences between short- and long-fiction in detail, learning what about your story to consider and when to consider it when it comes to classing it as either length of fiction.

Lesson 6: Creative nonfiction     

A ground-up exploration of the genre of creative nonfiction - looking at the advent of the modern personal essay and case study works of the breed to get to a point of understanding how this form functions and blurs the lines between fiction and nonfiction.

Lesson 7: Text, Context, & Subtext          

We examine these three core factors as separate entities, and then look at how to go about applying them in unison, as well as the precise forms and functions they take and execute within the literary machine.

Lesson 8: Editing              

An exploration of all the essential editing techniques a good writer should employ to ensure a piece of work that reads as easily and professionally as possible.

Module 3:
Lesson 1: Developing a Writing Style       

An exploration and seeking of the true definition of a writing style, as well as a demystification of all the categories of influence - both internal and external - which come together to form an author's 'unique' way of looking at and writing about the world at large.

Lesson 2: Symbolism & Metaphor            

An exploration of the differences, core functions, and importance of these crucial concepts as used within the art of writing fiction.

Lesson 3: The French Symbolists               

An exploration of the writers who formed our current understanding of the form and function of symbolism within literary works, as well a guide to the successful understanding of symbolic content within works of fiction.

Lesson 4: Visual storytelling        

A demystification of how visual content can be used to enhance the literary effectivity of work for the stage and screen.

Lesson 5: Modernism    

A deep, yet efficient, exploration of just how the movement of modernism came to be and came to define the first era of 20th-century literature.

Lesson 6: Postmodernism           

A contrapuntal examination of the role and purpose of the postmodernism movement, as well as a demystification of its implications on literature and global culture in general.

Lesson 7: The Beat Generation 

A vital exploration of this spectacular movement of 20th-century literature, discussing its key figures and the resultant cultural and subcultural shifts envisioned and achieved by its leading lights.

Lesson 8: Textual Analysis           

A crash course on how to deconstruct any piece of fiction within any genre. We look at how to go in raw and leave a text with an advanced understanding of just what it's on about.

Module 4:
Lesson 1: Culture, subculture and counterculture             

A crucial and often overlooked exploration of just how cultures and subcultures have come to be formed over the course of the 20th- and 21st centuries, looking at areas of overlap, how cultures achieve dominance and the key role sub- and counterculture plays in influencing nascent mainstream ideologies.

Lesson 2: Writing Gender in the 21st Century     

We look at how the approach to writing gender has to be re-examined, specifically in terms of the ways in which we as writers don't even realized we've been socialized to do so. We also take a close look at some pertinent examples from both classics and modern classics to demonstrate how the issues we seek to work against present themselves - sometimes blatantly, sometimes with devious subtlety.

Lesson 3: A look at 21st-Century Canon 

In this lesson, we will take our time to really unpack just what the canon of Western literature is and how something comes to be classified as canonical. We will also take our time to get our historical perspective in check to understand just what sets apart 21st-century literature, and makes it one of the most unique eras of literature in history.

Lesson 4: A Look at 21st-century Canon (II)          

In this lesson we will take a look at some of the most striking and relevant works of modern fiction - taking them apart and examining why they have come to find such an important place within modern culture.

Lesson 5: Words in the Information Age

This lesson seeks to answer not just the question of 'why', but how it is that readers and viewers of the modern age internalize literature, what it is they look for, and how they best enjoy engagement.

Lesson 6: Parody and Pastiche   

We look at each of these interesting genres in and of themselves, unpack them and look at some striking examples of the breed. We also ask the question of why these revolutionary approaches to the art of fiction have taken hold in the modern age.

Lesson 7: Satire

In this lesson we will explore the storied genre of satire - seeking to understand its social function within the realm of modern writing, what distinguishes it from parody and pastiche, and how you as a modern writer should learn to look at this often-overlooked ultra-relevant genre of writing.

Lesson 8: The Holistic Writer      

We simply unpack the role of the modern writer - and all the heft and gravitas this chosen role demands.

All necessary course materials are included.

System Requirements:

Internet Connectivity Requirements:
  • Cable and DSL internet connections are recommended for the best experience.
Hardware Requirements:
  • CPU: 1 GHz or higher
  • RAM: 2 GB or higher
  • Resolution: 1280 x 720 or higher
  • Speakers / Headphones
  • Microphone (Webinar / Live Online sessions)
Operating System Requirements:
  • Microsoft Windows 7 or 10 (Home, Pro)
  • Mac OSX 10 or higher.
  • Latest Chrome OS
  • Latest Linux Distributions

NOTE: While we understand that our courses can be viewed on Android and iPhone devices, we do not recommend the use of these devices for our courses. The size of these devices do not provide a good learning environment for students taking online or live online based courses.

Web Browser Requirements:
  • Latest Google Chrome is recommended for the best experience.
  • Latest Mozilla FireFox
  • Latest Microsoft Edge
  • Latest Apple Safari
Basic Software Requirements (These are recommendations of software to use):
  • Office suite software (Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, or LibreOffice)
  • PDF reader program (Adobe Reader, FoxIt)
  • Courses may require other software that is denoted in the above course outline.

** The course outlines displayed on this website are subject to change at any time without prior notice. **