In a post last month I said I had signed up to a free eight week course by Future Learn, a part of the Open University distance learning package. The course was Start Writing Fiction. I know I’m a bit past the starting blocks but I wanted to see if there were any nuggets of gold within the course that I could pick up or actual scaffolding type information that I didn’t know, after all, I am self taught.
We have just started week four and I’ve completed week two, but don’t worry about that if you decide to do it yourself. As you go along you will see there are plenty of people at the same stage as you by the timings of the comments left on each task. There is also no tutor input as far as I can see. But what do you expect for a free course. You work your way through tasks, listen to audio clips of published authors, read snippets of work from published novels relevant to the area you are working on and do what is requested. Any feedback is provided by your fellow students doing the course. I expect there is more interaction if you are up front and doing it as the course timings dictate, but life has been getting in the way a bit and I do hope to catch up.
The first week was all about where writers get their inspiration from. So, for us, where we would or could get our inspiration from. The course suggested we carry a notebook with us at all times and observe the world around us, specifically the people around us and imagine the stories that come from seeing the detail in those people. It also suggested mixing real life and fiction and seeing what we came up with. That was an interesting exercise. At the time I was sitting in a hotel room waiting for my daughter as she went for an interview assessment, so my only factual element in my piece was that I was in a hotel room. I’m not sure what they thought of that piece of writing! It did show how a story can be jump started though.
Next week I’ll do a run through of week two. And apologies for the bland no image post, WordPress wouldn’t let me upload a single image today….
Have you thought about doing a short free course? They do some really interesting ones, not just writing related ones.