Writing Crime and Contemporary Romance - 2017

This unit contains mature content including Adult Themes, Coarse Language, Drug use, Nudity, Sex / Sexual References and Violence and may not be suitable for some students.
Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP1 , SP3
  • Availability for 2018: SP1 , SP3
  • Assessment: Analysis Task (20%) , Online Discussion (20%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 793.00
HECS 793.00
International 1,043.00

Running with the idea that the distance between pleasure and pain is never too far in popular culture narratives, this unit examines two highly successful popular fiction genres: Crime Fiction and Chick Literature/Lad Fiction.

Students will be asked to examine historical and artistic developments in these two genres, consider popular culture theory and develop practical techniques in order to produce a folio of original creative and analytical work. The folio consists of two stories written in either genre utilising different perspectives and techniques, and a critical analysis of a popular culture product.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. recognise and critically examine the relationship between popular culture and the production of popular fiction genres
  2. understand significant aspects of research, drafting and editing necessary for creative responses in popular fiction
  3. demonstrate understanding of the history and influence of literary traditions on popular fiction genres
  4. demonstrate rigourous standards of scholarship
  5. demonstrate strong ability in being creative and innovative
  6. identify and put theoretical knowledge of popular fiction genres into action in a range of modes.
  • Analysis Task (20%)
  • Online Discussion (20%)
  • Portfolio 1 (30%)
  • Portfolio 2 (30%)

Recommended prerequisites

You are recommended to have completed the following unit(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Introduction: what is popular culture and how does it relate to the creation of of popular fiction?
2Introduction to the popular fiction genres of crime and contemporary romance
3Case studies 1: an analysis of two popular fiction texts and their relationship to historical tradition and contemporary popular culture
4Crime module 1: hardboiled and noir. The development of the detective novel and the infleunce of film noir
5Crime module 2: writing crime. Techniques, genre specifications, and audience expectations
6Contemporary romance module 1: chick lit and lad fic. The development of the contemporary romance novel
7Contemporary romance module 2: writing chick lit and lad fic. Techniques, genre specifications and audience expectations
8Crime module 3: the rise of the anti-hero, the dick is the crim, the dick is a chick, the criminal as hero
9Contemporary fiction: the role of the familial in contemporary popular fiction narratives
10The popular fiction writer's boot camp: drafting, editing and refining popular fiction
11Contemporary romance module 3: departures and subversion. Innovation in the chick lit and lad fic genre framework
12Crime module 4: departures and innovations. The emergence of neo-noir and post-noir formats and the rise of the blended genre form rise of the blend

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Chat rooms
  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

Online materials

  • FAQs
  • Online Assessment
  • Printable format materials
  • Resources and Links

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Women in Black

    By:Madeleine St John

    ISBN: 9781921656798


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Farewell My Lovely

    By:Chandler, Raymond

    ISBN: 9780141045597


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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