Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Advanced Novel

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2011

Course Code: COMM5414

Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Advanced Novel

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5181 - Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact : Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4368

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Teacher: Toni Jordan


Nominal Hours: 70

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

At RMIT your are required to have completed or be in the process of completing the competency Refine Writing and Editing Techniques – Novel before enrolling in Refine Writing and Editing Techniques – Advanced Novel.

At RMIT Refine Writing and Editing Techniques – Advanced Novel is taught and assessed alongside the following competencies:
• CUVCOR04A – Originate concept for own work and conduct critical discourse
• CUVCOR13A – Research and critically analyse history and theory to inform artistic practice
• CUECOR01B – Manage own work and learning
• CUSADM03A – Manage a project
• CUVDES05A – Interpret and respond to a brief
• CUSRAD02A – Conduct research

You are expected to have 30,000 words of a novel project completed before the start of the class. 

Course Description

This course covers the knowledge and skills required to work on an advanced draft of a novel. The emphasis in this course is on completing a manuscript to publishable standard and preparing to show the work to publishers and agents.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP553 Refine writing and editing techniques - Advanced Novel


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


2. Develop and refine conceptual vision for writings

Performance Criteria:

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


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


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


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

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to develop a final draft of your novel and prepare the manuscript for publication.

Details of Learning Activities

In this course, you learn through:
1. In-class activities:
• lectures
• industry speakers
• teacher directed group activities/projects
• peer teaching and class presentations
• group discussion
• class exercises to review discussions/lectures
• analysis/critique of students’ writings

2. Out-of-class activities:
• independent project based work
• writing and reading assignments
• online and other research
• independent study

Teaching Schedule

Week Class content Assessment dueElements
1Introduction and review of projects. Explanation of structure of the semester  VBP 553 1–4
2Workshopping VBP 553 1–4

3Workshopping of novels, review of beginnings VBP 553 1–4

4Workshopping of novels, review of beginnings, continued VBP 553 1–4
CUVCOR13A – 1–3

5Workshopping, review of place VBP 553 1–4

6Workshopping, review of pace VBP 553 1–4;
CUVDES05A – 1–5

7Workshopping, overview of publishing industry CUSADM03A 1,2,3
VBP 553 1–4

8Presentations on elements of craft, workshopping CUSRAD02A 1–4 CUVCOR13A 1–3
VBP 553 1–4

9Presentations on elements of craft, workshopping CUVCOR13A 1–3
VBP 553 1–4

10Presentations on elements of craft, workshopping CUSADM03A 1–4
VBP 553 1–4

11Workshopping, place and atmosphere VBP 553 1–4
CUVCOR04A 1,2,3
12Workshopping, metaphor VBP 553 1–4

13Workshopping, middles of novels VBP 553 1–4;
14Workshopping, middles continued VBP553 3

15Where to send your novel – discussion of the publishing alternatives.  Assessment dueCUVCOR13A 1-3
VBP553 3
16No class – Monday 31 October  
17Pitching your novel CUVCOR13A 1-3
VBP553 3

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


You are advised to look at the course Blackboard site for ongoing updated information.

Other Resources

You will require access to a computer and to the internet

Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Assessment tasks include participation in class exercises and the completion of written assignments.                      

    Assessment Tasks

    1. Novel Manuscript

    A 10,000-word excerpt from novel edited to publishable standard, including:
    • exact word count
    • (maximum) 800-word synposis
    • 3000 word section of manuscript clearly identified for close assessment

    Due Date: 17 October
    Percentage weight: 80%

    2. Presentation

    10 minute class presentation highlighting an element of craft with particular relevance to your work in progress.

    Due on date to be decided with teacher. 

    Percentage weight 5%

    3. Workshopping

    You are expected to workshop your writing a minimum of 5 times during the semester and to offer feedback during other  workshopping sessions.

    Percentage weight 15%

    Your assignments will be graded. Grades used in this unit are as follows:

    80 – 100% HD High Distinction
    70 – 79% DI Distinction
    60 – 69% CR Credit
    50 – 59% PA Pass
    Under 50% NN Fail

    Assessment Matrix

    The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available through the course contact in Program administration

    Other Information

    You will receive both spoken and written feedback on your work. Where appropriate, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

    Academic Integrity
    Academic Integrity is about the honest presentation of your academic work. Presenting work that fails to acknowledge other people’s work within yours can compromise academic integrity. For further information on academic integrity and plagiarism, please refer to the following URL.;ID=kkc202lwe1yv

    Late Submissions
    All assessment tasks are required to be completed to a satisfactory level. If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment by the due date, you will need to apply for an extension.
    Please refer to the course blackboard site for information on late submissions and on applying for an extension.

    Special Consideration Policy
    Please refer to the following URL for information on applying for special consideration:;ID=qkssnx1c5r0y;STATUS=A;PAGE_AUTHOR=Andrea%20Syers;SECTION=1;

    Course Overview: Access Course Overview