Writing Fiction with David Nicholls
David Nicholls, author of the iconic bestseller One Day (now a major Netflix show), helps you write novels and stories full of unforgettable characters and sparkling dialogue.
It's the job of a fiction writer to make something that never happened feel true, thanks to the skills and techniques of the writer. Across five weeks, David Nicholls generously shares his ideas about ‘sketching’ and ‘rehearsing’; his love of dialogue, his thoughts on how humour and sadness work hand in hand – and his sense of the underlying intention of the writer: ‘Write what feels important to you. Passion, urgency, the desire to tell a particular story in a unique way will keep you going.’
Whether you’re writing a novel or shorter fiction, this course will help you to set off on a sure footing, and to learn to balance action, dialogue and interiority to make the most of the form and of your story.
David Nicholls trained as an actor before making the switch to writing. David's bestselling debut novel Starter for Ten was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club in 2004. His third novel One Day was published in 2009 to extraordinary critical acclaim and stayed in the Sunday Times top ten bestseller list for ten weeks on publication, it is now a major Netflix series. His fourth novel Us was longlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2014. As well as writing novels, David is a celebrated screenwriter for film and TV, he won a BAFTA for his 2018 TV adaptation of the Patrick Melrose novels and has also written screenplays for three of his own novels (Starter for Ten, One Day and Us). His latest novel You Are Here will be published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2024.
What does this course give you?
- Video modules: Work through five modules of exclusive teaching videos from David Nicholls on topics including how to structure your novel, the use of comic set pieces, and the importance of knowing your ending before you begin.
- Writing tasks: Weekly writing tasks will help you experiment with the ideas discussed by David and see how they relate to your own work.
- Resources & notes: You’ll get comprehensive teaching notes to accompany the videos, plus additional resources that include extracts from David’s sketchbook and examples of dialogue from his novels.
- Professional feedback: An expert CBC editor will give brief written feedback to each student on one writing task during the course, with several students receiving feedback in each week. Students are also given the option to purchase additional end-of-course feedback from our expert editors.
- Student forum: Find your writing community in our private student forum. Upload your completed writing tasks, give and receive peer-to-peer feedback, and discuss the week’s topics with your group (maximum of 30 students) and the CBC team.
Course schedule & delivery
Follow the course at your own pace. Our online courses are designed for flexible study – you can take part at times to suit you and from wherever in the world you are. To get the best out of it, we recommend spending four to six hours a week on the coursework, and to be progressing your own novel or story throughout the five weeks.
Week 1Exploring your territory
Week 2Planning & viewpoint
Week 3Character & setting
Week 4Talking – and not talking
Week 5What comes next?
All students will be given the option to purchase feedback on their final task from a CBC editor.
- CBC report: For an additional fee of £145, you can obtain a detailed 500-word report on your work (of up to 3,000 words) from one of our CBC editors.
- CBC report + tutorial: For an additional fee of £240, you can obtain a 500-word report from one of our CBC editors and have a 30-minute video or telephone tutorial with them to discuss your work.
GIFT THIS COURSE
Encourage your friend or loved one to get creative! We have £185 digital gift vouchers available, enabling you to buy any five-week online course as a present.
Raise your writing game and tap into your imagination – with tried-and-tested advice from the major bestselling author.