How to Read a Novel
Get underneath the skin of a novel by understanding some of the main building blocks of modern fiction.
Get more from your reading
What makes a great novel? How is a novel woven together? How can we best appreciate works of fiction?
Answer these questions and more with this course from The University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
On the course you’ll discover four of the main building blocks of modern fiction: plot, characterisation, dialogue, and setting using examples from a range of texts including the four novels shortlisted for the James Tait Black fiction prize. You’ll also explore the formal strategies authors use, how they came to be, and how they affect us as readers.
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.