Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Novel

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2008

Course Code: COMM5410

Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Novel

School: 345T Creative Media

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5181 - Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact : Professional Writing and Editing Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4368

Course Contact Email:brendan.lee@rmit.edu.au


Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Dr Olga Lorenzo
9925 4058
olga.lorenzo@rmit.edu.au

Toni Jordan
toni.jordan@rmit.edu.au

Nominal Hours: 85

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

Students should have completed Produce Writings- Novel (VBP552)

Course Description

The emphasis in this course is to extend a novel in progress, concentrating on further development of plot, themes, characterisation and dialogue. 


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP553 Refine writing and editing techniques - Novel

Element:

1. Inform work through experimentation with writing techniques and media   

Performance Criteria:

1.1 The potential for new approaches to writing based on the capabilities of techniques already used are evaluated
1.2 New techniques are selected, adapted and introduced for the achievement of different effects
1.3 The capabilities of writing techniques are extended through experimentation to inform practice
1.4 Relevant ideas and approaches from other practitioners are researched, adapted and used with consideration of intellectual property, moral rights and copyright requirements

Element:

2. Develop and refine conceptual vision for writings

Performance Criteria:

2.1 A conceptual vision for writings are developed based on a knowledge and understanding of different writing techniques
2.2 The criteria for selecting techniques are considered based on results of experimentation
2.3 The criteria which are most likely to facilitate the achievement of the conceptual vision are established
2.4 The approach to work which meets established criteria is selected
2.5 The conceptual vision is refined based on on-going experimentation and analysis of writing techniques

Element:

3. Determine and organise resource requirements for work

Performance Criteria:

3.1 The specific resource requirements which arise from the use of techniques and experimental approaches are assessed
3.2 Potential sources of supply of writing resources are researched and accessed
3.3 Constraints that may impact on the development of work are evaluated

Element:

4. Plan the writing

Performance Criteria:

4.1 The writing task is planned to reflect the media, scope, structure and content of the work and to meet agreed timelines
4.2 Ideas are organised and developed into an ordered sequence of scenes
4.3 All resources required to deliver the writing task are organised
4.4 A timeline for the completion of the writing task that reflects the critical milestones is determined

Element:

5. Realise writings                              

Performance Criteria:

5.1 Writings are realised using techniques and media selected from research and experimentation to meet the conceptual vision
5.2 The potential for changes in the use of techniques are evaluated and responded to
5.3 The conceptual vision is refined  based on on-going experiences with the production of writings
5.4 Issues of design and presentation of writings are considered and appropriate actions taken


Learning Outcomes


Not applicable


Details of Learning Activities

All classroom-based lectures, workshopping, group exercises.
Students are expected to do their own research and writing off-campus.


Teaching Schedule

Please note: this is a rough guide subject to change depending on class needs and the teaching style of individual teachers.

WeekTopic
1Orientation
2Introduction
3Beginnings; workshopping
4Introduction to craft elements in the middle of novels; workshopping
5Middles, continued; workshopping
6Voice, reviewed; workshopping
7Rhythm, reviewed; workshopping
8Pace, reviewed; workshopping
9Pace, continued; workshopping
10Setting, reviewed; workshopping
11Setting and place, continued; workshopping
12Show, don’t tell
13Show, don’t tell, continued
14-15Dialogue
16-17Characterisation
18Semester review, individual appointments if necessary
19-20 Characterisation
21Music as a theme in novel writing
22Dialogue, continued
23Writing from life
24Writing from dreams
25-28Plot and structure
29Writing food
30-33Publishers, agents
34Editing and Revising
35Editing and revising, overview
36Semester review; individual appointments if necessary


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

For Olga Lorenzo:
Weeks 1-18:
The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
The White Hotel by DM Thomas

Weeks 19-36:
Housekeeping by M Robinson
Surrender by Sonya Hartnett

For Toni Jordan: see Toni in class


References


Other Resources

Recommended: Elizabeth George, Write Away, Harper Collins


Overview of Assessment

Assessment includes part of a novel manuscript, a class presentation and in-class workshopping.


Assessment Tasks

1. Novel excerpt

A 5000-word excerpt from your novel, including word count, and edited to publishable standard. A (maximum) 500-word synopsis. First 2000 words of manuscript (or 2000 consecutive words of your choice, clearly identified) to be closely assessed and line-edited.

Due date: Tuesday, May 13

Percentage weight: 40%

2. Presentation: Semester 1

A five-minute presentation on one of the set texts, focusing on a single element of craft.

Note: this is not a book review, a discussion of the themes of the novel or a recounting of the plot. It is a discussion of only one element of craft covered in the teaching schedule above: for example, pace, dialogue or point of view. The presentation should focus on ’what I learned’ about this element of craft while reading this book. Students should take notes while reading.

Due date: Tuesday, August 5

Percentage weight: 5%

3. Class participation: Semester 1

Students are expected to participate in class discussions, consistently workshop manuscripts, respond to feedback, provide a positive contribution to the work-in-progress of other students, contribute to an analysis and discussion of set texts, and participate in the writing and discussion of class exercises.

Percentage weighting: 5%

4. Novel excerpt

A 5000-word excerpt from your novel, including word count, and edited to publishable standard. A (maximum) 500-word synopsis. First 2000 words of manuscript (or 2000 consecutive words of your choice, clearly identified) to be closely assessed and line-edited.

Due date: Tuesday, October 7

Percentage weight: 40%

5. Presentation: Semester 2

A five-minute presentation on one of the set texts, focusing on a single element of craft.

Note: this is not a book review, a discussion of the themes of the novel or a recounting of the plot. It is a discussion of only one element of craft covered in the teaching schedule above: for example, pace, dialogue or point of view. The presentation should focus on ’what I learned’ about this element of craft while reading this book. Students should take notes while reading.

Due date: Tuesday, August 5

Percentage weight: 5%

6. Class participation: Semester 2

Students are expected to participate in class discussions, consistently workshop manuscripts, respond to feedback, provide a positive contribution to the work-in-progress of other students, contribute to an analysis and discussion of set texts, and participate in the writing and discussion of class exercises.

Percentage weight: 5%


Assessment Matrix

Other Information

All assessment items must be handed in by due date (to be advised by teacher) unless an extension has been arranged prior to the due date. Penalties of grade cuts apply to late work. 

Course Overview: Access Course Overview