1. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Getting the most out of a writing course

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by w176, Sep 17, 2010.

    Im going to read a part time (50%) university course on creative writing. The teacher is a published writer. I have been to a weekend seminar she held when I was teen, and from that experience and from friends that read this course before i know she will be an OK teacher at least or even a great teacher.

    The problem for me arises that the course is aimed at beginning level writers, that never picked up a pen and many of the exercises seem to be almost junior high level. 2 pages, maximum of writing on each exercise. With instruction as "Listing to music an inspire poetry." etc, which isn't really useful if you are a total noob.

    We will meet for 2 full days 1-2 a month, reviewing each others work. Hence the small size of the workload.

    I been writing for 3-8 hours a day the last 10 years. How do you think I should approach the course to get the most out of it?
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    In my courses that seemed aimed at newer writers, I took the attitude that there was always something more to learn, and threw myself into the writing exercises anyway, practically role-playing a new writer. As long as they're not lecturing you on grammatical stuff you've known for years, but actually on ideas and stuff, there's always something you might pick up on. Start a new body of work for the course rather than getting frustrated with how it doesn't help you with stuff you're already writing, and, um, see how it goes?
     
  3. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I wish I am lucky enough to attend such a class physically. No such luck for me so I may take up the next best thing, that is, Gotham's online writing class soon. Personally, I think such class can only help me, if nothing else it will help me gain confidence. You may think you have reached a particular level in writing, but it becomes validated if experience writer or critique says so. My advice... take the class, chances are you'll do well, which will give you the much needed moral boost. On the other hand, you thought the class will be a cakewalk but realised it is not easy as you think, that's reality check for you. Either way, it can only be helpful.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Mel - I am only just new to writing but a really good teacher and lecturer can teach many levels at once. What you get out of a course is always down to attitude and what you put into it.

    A lot of them maybe new writers but even new writers may have skills you don't they can share. It may also help you get a fresh view of your own writing by going back to basic in a subject.

    I know even with subjects my academic level and understanding is reasonable sometimes reading a primary school text book can give me new ideas and approaches.
     
  5. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Whow! I'm impressed. Wish I could say that.
    I'm starting a full time creative writing course at uni on Monday.
    I applied for this course because I thought it was time I took my writing more seriously.
    One thing I'm sure it will do is make me write more, which does not seem to be a problem for you.
    Here's hoping we both get what we need out of it.
    Best of luck
     
  6. art
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    art Contributing Member Contributor

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    Take a classmate under your wing and help them along. To teach is also to learn.
     
  7. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I e-mailed the teacher asking that the workload seemed pretty easy, if you already write a lot and asked her how I could get the most of the course. She said that she thought i should experiment more then usual, to stretch and broaden my abilities and will keep it in mind while giving me critique.
     
  8. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with your professor that you should take this opportunity to take more risks and chances; try your hand at poetry if you're normally a prose writer or experiment with genres that are hard for you to write (and even to read). Or really focus on a part of your writing that you do all the time that you feel is lacking --character development, dialogue, establishing themes, whatever.

    And see if you can take advantage of her office hours. I find I learn best when I am speaking with a teacher one on one as opposed to in a class setting. I wouldnt mention how you feel you're more experienced / better than some of the other students (even if it's true), but ask her questions about assignments, writing in general, and how to improve your work personally.

    Good luck and have fun! :) Even if you feel like you might not be at the right level, take full advantage of this opportunity.
     
  9. viktor
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    viktor Member

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    Tja w176,

    I'm also doing a course at the moment. I have spent the last two years writing like you, 3-8 hours a day. I find that, although I am one of the more experienced writers amongst the students, there is still so much to learn. The fundamentals of writing need to be reinforced as strongly as possible, I feel. Show don't tell, less is more, character is conflict etc. These are things that you really need to hammer into the head as hard as you can!
     

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