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JOUR11-110: Creative Writing: Plot and Genre September 2019 [Standard]

General information

Plot and Genre is an introduction to short and long-form storytelling techniques, which can be applied to screen writing, fiction, non-fiction and hybrid multimedia formats. This subject defines narrative, plot and genre, reviewing storytelling techniques from Aristotle to Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey". It also includes: critical discussion of the ten basic storylines; the major forms and conventions of commercial, literary and screen genres; character motivation and development; character and story arcs; sub-plots; world building; and the effect of suspense, pace, tension and conflict on plot at a macro level. Using templates developed by craft writers like Robert McKee and Blake Snyder, students will learn to conceptualise, workshop and articulate their own narrative premise, then plot their story and character arcs and write a sample opening chapter/scene. All assessment will be submitted in formats consistent with industry expectations.


Academic unit:Faculty of Society & Design
Subject code:JOUR11-110
Subject title:Plot and Genre
Subject level:Undergraduate
Semester/Year:September 2019
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Lecture: x12 (Total hours: 24) - Weekly Lecture
  • Tutorial: x12 (Total hours: 12) - Weekly Tutorial
  • Personal Study Hours: x12 (Total hours: 84) - Recommended Study Hours


Prescribed resources: No Prescribed resources. After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
[email protected] & Email:[email protected] is the online learning environment at Bond University and is used to provide access to subject materials, lecture recordings and detailed subject information regarding the subject curriculum, assessment and timing. Both iLearn and the Student Email facility are used to provide important subject notifications. Additionally, official correspondence from the University will be forwarded to students’ Bond email account and must be monitored by the student.

To access these services, log on to the Student Portal from the Bond University website as

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ?


Assurance of learning

Assurance of Learning means that universities take responsibility for creating, monitoring and updating curriculum, teaching and assessment so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for employability and/or further study.

At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.

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Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  1. Develop critical understanding of the theory traditions and ethics of historical and contemporary approaches to plot and genre
  2. Develop a narrative premise and narrative arc, embedding elements of tension, drama and character development
  3. Present plot and narrative ideas in industry-standard formats.
  4. Improve writing craft through the development of narrative outline and opening scenes/chapters.
  5. Critique peer and industry work to assess strengths and weaknesses.


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
Analysis Written analysis of narrative (own choice) 20% Week 4 1, 5.
Oral Pitch Your story: Oral pitch and narrative outline 25% Week 7 2, 3, 4, 5.
*Showcase Portfolio Professional portfolio, including pitch, synopsis, and writing sample 55% Week 12 2, 3, 4, 5.
  • * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
  • C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.

Assessment criteria

High Distinction 85-100 Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.
Distinction 75-84 Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.
Credit 65-74 Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.
Pass 50-64 Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.
Fail 0-49 Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

A late penalty will be applied to all overdue assessment tasks unless an extension is granted by the subject coordinator. The standard penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment per day late with no assessment to be accepted seven days after the due date. Where a student is granted an extension, the penalty of 10% per day late starts from the new due date.

Policy on plagiarism

University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.

Disability support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Subject curriculum

A crash course in the history and traditions of narrative and the elements of plot. Learn how to use the concepts of premise, high concept and loglines. Are you a plotter or a panster (or a bit of both)? We’ll explore writing popular vs literary fiction.

1, 2.

Learn how to use structural models to improve your stories. Learn and apply the tools and concepts of Blake Snyder, Aristotle, Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Campbell, Christopher Vogler and Michael Hauge.

1, 2, 3, 4.

Discover how to create memorable characters and explore the character’s inner journey using character motivation, conflict and goals to strengthen your narrative. We’ll explore writing realism and magical realism.

1, 2, 3, 5.

Discover how archetypes can help develop character. Discover how to make your narrative more meaningful and memorable by strengthening it thematic underpinnings and incorporating symbols. Learn art of pitching and we’ll explore the romance genre.

1, 2, 3, 4.

Learn the keys to a compelling opening chapter. Whose story are you telling, and what's the best way to present it? We’ll explore the genre of memoir.

1, 2, 3, 4.

Understand the components for a successful scene. From red herrings to romances, how to use what's happening on the sidelines to enrich your narrative. We’ll explore writing crime.

1, 2, 3, 4.

Let’s hear your stories…oral pitches.

2, 3, 4, 5.

Set the stage for your narrative by creating immersive, believable (and commercially successful) worlds. Learn how to craft the perfect pitch letter. We’ll explore writing sci-fi, new adult, young adult and middle grade genres.

1, 2, 3.

How to edit your work for publication and effect. Learn how to write a synopsis. We’ll explore the wilds of writing adventure and westerns and delve into historicals.

2, 3.

How voice, style and dialogue can elevate a narrative. We’ll explore writing horror and cli-fi.

2, 3.

Learn the realities of becoming a writer from developing a writing routine, to handling rejection, to marketing, to understanding trends, to developing a network and getting published. We’ll explore writing satire.


One-on-one portfolio consultations.

3, 4.
Approved on: Jul 11, 2019. Edition: 1.4
Last updated: Sep 6, 2019.