Why do a lot of writers say that fiction writing courses hinder a writer’s creativity because it imposes some set “rules” which the writer has to follow? That isn’t true. Yes, there are deadlines which you have to meet, but you can pretty much write about anything you want, and then a published author with a Ph.D. in English and bunch of aspiring writers like you provide feedback, after learning how to give constructive feedback. I can understand wanting to break the rules as a writer and be super creative, but you can’t break anything if you don’t know what it is that you're breaking. And you don’t want to be too creative. Having structure as a writer is very important. Here is an article where a lot of creative writing professors talk about how they teach and what they do in class. Quote from the article: “I do remind my students, periodically, that fiction contains an element of ineluctable mystery along with its elements of craft, and that a great story or novel is great in certain ways we can elucidate, and certain ways in which we cannot. We don't dissect great literature in the belief that once all its organs are spread out on the table before us, we've got it figured out. We read extensively and, each week, do our best to determine how certain effects were achieved by a different writer. How did James build his characters in The Aspern Papers? How did Joyce structure "The Dead"? The students perform writing exercises as we go along. During the week we spend on character, for instance, I ask them to write a single paragraph that conveys the appearance and essential nature of a character. During the week on structure, I give them an impossible welter of information – seven different people, with twice that many interconnected dramas and conflicts – and ask them to sketch out a story, with the understanding that they can omit as much, or include as much, as they like. During the final third of the semester, I simply tell my students to take what they've learned, and write a story. Any story they like. Which can be anywhere from one to 25 pages long (though I encourage them to lean more toward single-digit page counts) – I stress economy and precision throughout the semester. The stories they come up with are often surprisingly good.” I’m an English major, and the learning outcome of the first two of my fiction writing courses are to: Identify the basic elements of a short story and analyze works of short fiction. Draft, develop, and revise your own original short stories. Reflect critically on your own work and writing strategies to apply them to future personal creative work. Analyze the role of specific formal elements in work of other students and provide useful and collegial criticism and feedback. Analyze the effect of formal elements of novels and short fiction on reader response. Apply critique and revision strategies to revise specific features of a work of fiction, such as style, plot, dialog, and point of view. It doesn’t seem bad to me. Can anyone construct a proper, logical argument as to why fiction writing courses aren't worth it? If you have any experiences with creative writing courses, can you mention them? Did it help you or hurt you?