1. marshipan
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    marshipan Member

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    Creative Writing Courses Online

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by marshipan, Apr 30, 2014.

    I'm thinking of joining a creative writing course online that's free. Generally my first go-to for such things is Coursera, but they didn't have anything. I'm searching around using the google without much luck thus far (after the massive ten minutes I committed). Some place called open university has a few classes...

    Does anyone know of--and maybe even has some experience with--free creative writing courses online?
     
  2. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, the Open University—at least here in the UK—is certainly not free. It exists for people who want to study to get degree credits but want to do it in their own time, without having to attend classes. (Although there are usually a few sessions you do need to attend in person.) The fee for the creative writing course is currently around £2,500—I just checked.

    My gut feeling is any full course available for free is probably not worth much. You'd be better off getting hold of some writing-related books—zillions of them out there. Check them out on Amazon, read reviews, check out the table of contents, etc. Maybe pick ones that writers you admire have written. You could maybe joining a local face-to-face writing group for camaradarie and feedback ...and of course participating in forums like this one! Sometimes writers' groups sponsor writers to come to give a talk or workshop.

    Many published writers write blogs that are full of writing advice. And the blogs are usually free to use.

    Lots of ways into this writing lark!
     
  3. marshipan
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    marshipan Member

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    Well, mostly I'm looking for something that will assign me little writing assignments that I have to post (not specifically interested in community feedback, it's just something that might keep me doing the work). I'm not specifically looking to learn, other than 'learning by doing'. My main motivation for this is to keep my mind focused on writing by being part of more writing things (activities, communities, etc).
     
  4. marshipan
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    marshipan Member

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    The site claims to offer free internet courses that have been put together from their normal classes. Though, I could be misunderstanding what is actually being offered. When I attempted to make a free account it keeps saying error, so I have yet to delve deeper (lol).

    It's Open University, but underneath the "OpenLearn" thingie-stuff.
    http://www.open.edu/openlearn/
     
  5. JayG
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    JayG Banned Contributor

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    In general, professional writers don't spend time grading the efforts new writers other than for personal friends. And strangely, it's not because it's beneath them. It's because of the emotional wear and tear. This article might help explain. He's a screenwriter, but the writer's response is pretty typical.

    So at best you're going to get a course put together by someone who may or may not know what they're talking about. And "grading" won't be done by someone at the skill level you would like to see. As Jannert already noted, you'll be getting your money's worth. But if you hope to be taken seriously as a writer, doesn't it make sense to invest a few pennies and some time in learning more about the profession you hope to practice?

    Any time you're just looking for little exercises, do a search on "writing prompts: and you'll find plenty.

    If you're seeking to learn more about the nuts and bolts of fiction and how it differs from other kinds of writing, your local library has a section on fiction writing. And in that case free actually fives you value. Personally, I'd suggest looking for Jack Bickham's name on the cover.

    Like any other professions there are lots of tricks of the trade that aren't obvious, even to readers. And there's a side benefit. If you truly were meant to be a writer on more than a casual basis you'll find it fascinating. If you don't, that's data, too.
     
  6. marshipan
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    marshipan Member

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    I'm not looking for grading, or for learning, or really anything other than a specific community setting where one committed person gives the rest of the people an assignment and a due date to post our assignment. Though, I would also prefer a certain level of organization and an aesthetically pleasing website. I find this benefits me specifically by training my mind to be more focused on writing throughout the day--which is my specific (and only) aim in finding a free writing course online.

    I do get daily writing prompts :), but looking to add on to that. I always have to be rather forceful when attempting to create habits.

    You both have me thinking now about alternatives for my specific need. Perhaps the next best (or best) option is creating a blog where I assign myself exercises to post. I can use the writing prompts I receive, or use exercises from textbooks. This way I can fine tune what assignments I do for what I'm looking for (for instance, something that takes an hour in the morning each day compared to other levels of commitment) and have more options specific to what is interesting me (some days I just want to right essays). Also, gives me the option of making posts private that end up involving longer projects I'm working on. Alright, I'm convinced. :D

    Thank you both for your posts.
     

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