Course Title: Writing a Novel

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Writing a Novel

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014

Course Coordinator: Caroline van de Pol

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3552

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You should have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite courses COMM2389 Telling Stories and COMM2391 Writing Non Fiction before you commence this course. Note it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the pre-requisite before enrolling in a course.

Course Description

In this course, COMM2393 Writing a Novel, you will examine key aspects of novel writing: its history and context and its key elements when writing a novel including character, plot and style.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program capabilities:
- critical analysis and appreciation of texts
- independent research and critical writing skills
- reflective practice and creative writing skills and ability to solve problems effectively and creatively
- development of leadership ability through constructive collaboration.

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:
- reflect on and analyse the history and context of the novel form
- create a sustained piece of fiction writing with the potential that it can develop into a novel
- interpret and outline the style of your novel in relation to other key styles
- analyse and identify strengths and weaknesses within your own writing, and in the writing of others
- reflect on your writing and research technical aspects of novel writing as a means of solving problems you are encountering.

Overview of Learning Activities

Through a series of lectures, tutorials, creative writing workshops and discussion, you will explore the world of the novel as a form of imaginative writing. Through independent writing exercises, workshops and discussion you will develop your own writing skills in this form, critical reflection, and will develop a beginning concept for your novel and commence the writing of that novel. The course relies on your engagement with ideas presented through readings and lectures and a preparedness to work independently as well in structured class exercises.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. During the course you will be contextualising the writing of your own novel by reading widely, excerpts from novels as well as drawing on the experience of other writers. You will be given readings in workshops in order to engage in detailed analysis and discussion and you are expected to add to this by developing your own ’library resource’ or bibliography. You will be provided with the beginnings of a reading list at the start of semester.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities. Assessment in this course aims to test your ability to write the beginnings of your own novel. Creative writing skills, including the development of ideas, writing and re-writing, the shaping of character, style and plot are assessed. You will also be tested on your ability to reflect on your work by engaging critical and analytical skills. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program director or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures.