Writing Fiction

Course CodeBWR105
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Become The Fiction Writing You Dream of Being

Good fiction has a strong plot or story line, believable and interesting characters, a unifying theme, and holds the reader's attention. Whether you want to write novels or short stories, this course will give you valuable writing tools, such as the ability to plan and critically appraise your work to achieve the effect you want.

 Do this course and you could be:

  • Writing a novel
  • Writing stories
  • Writing science fiction
  • Expanding your creative fiction writing
  • Writing short fiction and much more.

Becoming a fiction writer - what you need to know

Fiction is writing that encompasses imaginary yet believable characters, events, and environments, but can also include real places and events. A good fiction writer can skillfully weave fantasy and reality, or create a world that is wholly imagined yet feels real.  If you want to write fiction, this is the course for you. 


This course is a great start for the aspiring writer - it will enhance your confidence through tutor support and encouragement.

  • It is a great introduction to work shopping your work - gain great insights and informative critiques.
  • Builds confidence.
  • Improves writing skills and fundamentals involved in the creative writing process.
  • Well-suited to writers wanting a better understanding of genres, modes of writing and writing styles

At the end of this course you will:

  • Know the difference between several genres and types of writing
  • Understand key writing concepts such as theme, characterisation, and ideation
  • Understand the common errors and pitfalls in writing, and how to avoid them
  • Understand how to revise and improve your work
  • Understand how to apply good writing practice and theory to create well-written, engaging stories and other creative works
  • Draft a creative piece and develop a plan to move forward with it

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Fiction
    • Elements
    • Types of Fiction (Category/genre and Mainstream)
    • Characteristics of Category Fiction (strong plot, hero/heroine, motivation. Action, background/setting)
    • Characteristics of Mainstream Fiction (Strong plot, Action or intrigue, hero, heroine, romance, happy ending)
    • Book, play or short story
    • Categories (Fantasy, fairy tale, fable, myth, legend, science fiction, western, drama, romance, comedy, horror, crime, suspense, erotica)
    • Getting an Idea (using a fragment, philosophical approach, develop from a title or opening sentence)
    • Back story
    • Types of writing
    • Theme development
    • Write an Analogy
    • Writing a Balanced Theme
    • Are You Suited to Writing Fiction ; Imagination, Being Informed, Human Behaviour
    • Importance of Focus
  2. Components of a Story
    • Story Components
    • Story Structure
    • Theme
    • Plot
    • Characterisation
    • Settings
    • Developing your own Style
    • Aspects of Style.
    • Case Study
  3. Technique
    • Conception (Characters, Settings, Events)
    • Write a Synopsis
    • Developing a Story
    • Examples of Plot Structure
    • Method Writing (Developing characters, changing characters, Appropriateness of characters, Revealing characters through crisis, names, stereotypes, creating dynamic characters)
    • Writing a Draft
    • Editing and Rewriting.
  4. Conception and Research
    • Conceiving a Story
    • Parts of Conception
    • Making conception original
    • Types of research (Primary and secondary data)
    • Planning a formal survey
  5. Drama
    • Writing a Dramatic Story
    • Common mistakes
    • Time Shifting
    • Transition between events
    • Dramatic conflict
    • Motivation
    • Dialogue
    • Point of View.
    • Representing Characters Speech
  6. Fantasy
    • Science Fiction
    • Methods to develop Sci Fi
    • Fairy Tales.
  7. The Short Story
    • Characteristics of Short Stories.
    • Length in terms of: the time frame; the number of characters; the number of events; the number of settings
    • Common Problems with Short story Writers
  8. The Novel
    • Guidelines
    • Planning a Novel
    • Making a story Endure (Archetypes, etc)
    • Tips
    • Getting Started
    • Submitting a Manuscript.
    • Which Publisher


  • Describe the nature and scope of fiction writing.
  • Determine the components of a fiction story, as the first step in planning a story.
  • Determine a systematic approach to building a fiction story.
  • Develop your capacity to conceive fiction stories.
  • Develop your ability to write dramatic stories.
  • Develop your ability to write fantasy
  • Develop your ability to write short stories
  • Develop your ability to plan for success in the writing of a novel.

There are traditionally main two types of fiction:

Also referred to as ‘genre’. Genre writing is usually classified according to its overriding theme or setting (eg. science fiction, westerns, adventure, historical, romance, erotica, mystery, suspense, fantasy and war stories).

These stories are aimed at the widest possible audience. They can deal with most aspects of modern life including relationships, careers, and the search for success and fulfilment. Popular mainstream writers include Jeffrey Archer, Jackie Collins, Colleen McCullough and James Michener.


There are four main types of writing. All writing falls into one of those groups:


  • Its purpose is to explain something to the reader. Generally facts are presented then analysed.


  • Its purpose is to persuade the reader.


  • Its purpose is to create an impression of something.


  • Its purpose is to tell a story.


The following outlines depict several ways a theme can be developed:

  • Deductive    Used where there are two or more things to be discussed. The main idea of the writing is revealed early, and other things which relate to it are discussed as the work progresses.
  • Inductive     Here the main idea is saved till the end of the writing. Everything written about throughout the piece leads to a conclusion, a moral or some type of revelation at the end.
  • Classic      Combines both deductive and inductive. There is discussion around a theme throughout the passage, but still a major conclusion or revelation at the end.
  • Chronological     The writing develops in order of a time framework. That which occurs first is discussed first, that which occurred last is discussed last.
  • Descriptive      The passage gives a strong impression of that which is described.

  • How to do something      If you are an expert in the subject you are writing about, you can write along the lines of "How To". If you are not an expert, you are better to write "How it is done".
  • Analogy      This is where comparisons are made between two things.
  • Argument      An argument can be dangerous. It is important to remember that there are always opposing views which are virtually impossible to change. Your best option is to present the facts, and then tell the reader to draw their own conclusions.

  • Balanced      Here the first half of the work will inevitably lead to the second half.
  • Cause and effect      The results (effect) of some event, action or idea are shown.
  • Classification      Here you show how something or group of things are classified.
  • Definition, Analysis    Used to classify, categorise or explain confusing things.
  • Comparison and contrast    Here both similarities and differences between things are shown.
  • Summary   Reviewing something in a shorter version.
  • Flashback   Looking into the past.
  • Evolution of narrative    A new form of narrative is beginning to develop as a result of seminal cinematic works such as Pulp Fiction. This film approaches narrative in a completely different way to the traditional, subverting the chronology of the tale so completely that it is impossible to define which part of the story is ‘now’ and which part is happening in flashback or flash forward. This is just one example of the ways it is possible to depart from traditional approaches to achieve a particular effect.

Good fiction has a strong plot or story line.

It is believable and interesting characters, a unifying theme, and holds the reader's attention. Whether you want to write novels or short stories, this course will give you valuable writing tools, such as the ability to plan and critically appraise your work to achieve the effect you want.


There are lots of reasons why you should sign up to do this course with us, including:

  • The course is detailed to ensure that you have the level of knowledge required to apply the practices in your own work, whether that's as a business employee or as a self employed writer
  • Within each lesson you have the opportunity to apply your learning to activities which enables you to practice different concepts and expand your own research in areas of interest
  • Knowledge of these key areas will enable you to stand out from other applicants when it comes to applying for jobs, it will also give you greater confidence
  • Having the knowledge of different writing techniques will enable you to work in many different sectors and business types, giving you flexibility now and in the future
  • Our subject specialist tutors will be there to support you throughout your course, they are only too happy to share their industry knowledge and experience with you
  • When studying with us you set your own deadlines, meaning you study at your own pace enabling it to fit around other commitments


You can enrol on the course now, but if you have any questions about the content of the course or studying with ACS, then please get in touch with us today - use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE to get in touch with our expert tutors. They will be pleased to help you!


Meet some Of our academics

John Mason

John Mason is one of Australia's most prolific writers. He saw his first work published when at secondary school, where he worked on the school magazine. In 1973 he was writing a weekly column for his local newspaper and by 1975 he was a regular contributor to Australia's national magazine "Your Garden". John was engaged by Victoria's Dept of Youth, Sport and Recreation to write a book on Fun and Fitness Trails in 1978. In 1981 he saw two more books published (one in America, another in Australia), and commenced writing regularly for the Self Sufficiency Magazine, Grass Roots. John is a long term member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Garden Media Guild (UK) and the Horticultural Media Association (Australia). He has written or contributed to over 100 books, many published by international publishers and published more than 2,000 articles across a range of genres (Gardening, Education, Business, Farming, Fitness). In addition, John has contributed to and overseen the development of more than 600 distance education courses which encompass around 20 million words. He has been an avid photographer for 40 years, building a collection of over 100,000 images, which are used to illustrate his work. His marine animal photos are even used by Legoland in England, on their Atlantis ride! Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.

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