How to Read a Novel
Get underneath the skin of a novel by understanding some of the main building blocks of modern fiction.
Who is the course for?
This course is for anyone who enjoys reading. You don’t need any past experience. You don’t need to have read all four books before you commence the course, but you may find it enhances your learning experience if you have.
Image: John Michael Thomson (2018) CC0
What topics will you cover?
The course examines specific techniques relating to plotting and temporality including flashbacks, unreliable narration and framed narratives.
The course considers ways of understanding character, such as behaviour and motives.
It explores issues relating to the presentation of dialogue, including conversational mood and dialect voices.
The course examines the impact of various different settings on the development of plot and character.
It invites learners to test their understanding through weekly quizzes and a final peer assessment task.
The four novels explored for this course are:
Week 1 (Plot): Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
Week 2 (Character): Bitter Orange Tree by Jokha Alharthi
Week 3 (Dialogue): Bolla by Pajtim Statovci
Week 4 (Setting): After Sappho by Selby Wynn Schwartz