Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds We all enjoy reading novels, but have you ever wondered how the story’s put together? What makes us believe in the characters? How far can we trust the narrator? And what impact does a setting have on the development of plot? Over the course of this MOOC, we’ll be looking at four of the key building blocks of fiction– plot, characterisation, dialogue, and setting. You’ll be encouraged to think about how characters’ thoughts and motives are communicated to the reader. You’ll explore how a particular atmosphere can be created depending on where a novel is set. And you’ll learn how to spot when a narrator is unreliable. You’ll learn how to read novels more incisively, drawing on a range of examples from classic texts.
Skip to 0 minutes and 45 seconds You’ll also hear from authors about how they use these building blocks when writing their own novels.
Skip to 0 minutes and 52 seconds The MOOC will run alongside the announcement of the James Tait Black Prize for fiction here at Edinburgh, and we’ll have exclusive access to four of the best novels published last year. I think this MOOC gives a really extraordinary opportunity for people to get an insight into the shortlisted books. I mean, imagine every year the James Tait Black shortlist gives you some of the very best fiction written in the English language. And then the chance to get into those books using the University of Edinburgh’s great experts, and then to meet the authors at the end, as well. What a fantastic opportunity really to understand what the best of this year’s literature has to offer.
Skip to 1 minute and 29 seconds It’s already 10 years since the James Tait Black Prizes started to be awarded at the book festival in Charlotte Square Gardens. This is a really extraordinary opportunity, a way of understanding reading in a totally new way, which takes all of the best of what the university has to offer and adds to it the thrill and the excitement of a live event that you get at the book festival. Now that we’ve reached 10 years together, I think this is a great new chapter in our journey.
Skip to 1 minute and 59 seconds We hope that you’ll join us on this course in order to delve into the fascinating world of fiction. We’ll be taking you on a thrilling journey that offers you all the tools you need in order to learn how to read a novel.