How to use the course

How does this course work?

The course is presented as a series of modules. Each can be completed as and when you like. You can compete modules in order, or range around the topics in whichever way is most useful to you. Each module will focus on techniques to help you translate the fascinating people you have known in real life into convincing characters which live just a vividly on the page. And each module will include a mix of discussion, examples and creative exercises. You can complete these as you go along or go back and do them in your own time. 

How long will it take?

There are five modules, and if you spent two hours on each, this course would take you around 10 hours. However, in many years of teaching I know writers vary enormously in how long they want to spend with a topic. So, you can always skip topics, and come back to them when you feel inspired. Very often, writers are encouraged to write about a specific memory when an external factor jolts the event into their consciousness. Try to keep a notebook or remember to write a note in your phone when you get one of these unexpected flashes of insight. They are almost always good material!

Will I do my own writing as part of this courses?

Yes, and lots of it! This course aims to be very practical and to get you writing from the beginning. Some of the exercises may work better for you than others – but do try them all. One of the best things about a creative writing course like this is giving new things a go!

What level do I have to be at to take this course?

This course is intended to be useful to writers at any level. It is suitable for absolute beginners, and you will find that every exercise and literary term is clearly explained as you go along. For more experienced writers, who have perhaps written fiction but not tried memoir, the course becomes a primer in how to apply fictive techniques to writing about real life. But, for writers new to both forms, even if you decide that memoir is not for you, nothing will be wasted! Both fiction and non-fiction draw on aspects of the craft of writing covered here and the exercises can be applied to both forms.

Complete and continue