Friday, September 18, 2015

Online Classes: Opinions? Advice?

So, I'm not sure that this qualifies as an informative blog post or anything, but I thought I would take a minute to let you know what I have been up to in my writing life! In my "day job" life, things have been super crazy, but I have tried hard to keep my writing life active. Recently, I submitted my complete manuscript and made PRO--and that was great! Now I am working on another project that has been giving me fits over the last few months. So, I decided to try to jumpstart my interest in it again, and I enrolled in an online writing class through another writing group.

I want to say right away that the class has great materials, and the instructor is wonderful about corresponding and answering questions super fast. So, all of that is great, of course. My problem: I don't know that I am cut out for online writing classes like this. I feel a disconnect, and think I am the kind of person who does better when I am talking face-to-face with someone or am in a classroom/group situation. Like I said, this has NOTHING to do with the materials or the instructor. I really think both are great, and I am learning various things, so it is a win either way.

So, I want to poll the audience! 

Have any of you ever taken an online writing course/workshop? If so, does it work for you? What advice or opinions do you have?


Aidee Ladnier said...

I am a total online class addict. That said, I get the most out of courses which require me to submit homework and then the instructor gives individual feedback. Finding time to finish the homework is both the hard part and the necessary part.

Suzanne Johnson said...

I'm an online class slut. I'm taking one now and start teaching one on plotting on October 1. But I think everyone has their own learning style, and there's nothing wrong with you if an online workshop isn't your cup of tea :-). Also, all online classes aren't created equal and some are duds.

Susan said...

Aidee, I think that is more the kind of class that I need! I also wonder if there are any with video elements...I think that would be cool!

Susan said...

Thanks, Suzanne! I will keep looking around!

Peggy Webb said...

A couple of years ago, I decided it was high time to share my 30 plus years of experience as a professional writer. My webmater/filmmaker, Roy Turner, came out to my house with his camera and I sat on my front porch talking about various aspects of writing. It's all very informal... and, I hope, informative. Best of all, it's FREE. Just go to my websites, www.peggywebb and and click on the video and media links to listen to my mini-classes on writing.

Most of all, have fun with your writing. The basic elements don't change: characters, plot, pacing, resolution. But voice and style are unique and can't be taught. You just have to experiment until you find your true voice and your unique style. Then, of course, you'll have to make decisions about balancing dialogue with description and point of view (Whose pov tells the story best? How many povs do you want to have? Hint: more than four tends to confuse the reader). There are other considerations,i.e., the story arc, etc., but there is not room here to talk about everything. The bottom line: Your ear is your best writing tool. Read your work aloud, and if it gives you pause, something is wrong. It's up to you to figure that out and fix it.

I love talking about writing, teaching it and sharing the accumulated knowledge of many years. But I'm still an active write, and never seem to have time to stop and teach workshops. I hope I won't forget to do my blog post next month, and maybe I'll continue to talk about the craft of writing. Until then, enjoy the process!