Sunday, 7 December 2014

Creative Writing Courses. What Should I Expect?

My comments are based on the course I attended which was via Kent Adult Education. This type of course is useful as they are usually local and they are also face to face with the tutor and other writers. Of course there are on-line courses but losing that face to face aspect is a limitation in my mind. These courses are typically £120 for a 10 week course which is not bad value. Juts Google Creative Writing Adult Education Course and then your town.

So what goes on? I personally was hoping for a steer on my writing and what I was doing right or wrong. The course was some way from that. In the first week we were given an assignment and then asked to read it at the next meeting. People then commented on the story. 

Comments were, for example, primarily around developing characters and had you thought to add something about a particular character. There was also a discussion on the direction of the tale and suggestions on extending the plot or, more usually, asking where the author felt the plot would go next. There was little or nothing about grammar or style.

A disappointment was that the tutor selected who should read an assignment and I found that several weeks went by where I wasn't asked to speak. That made the homework a little pointless. 

The course aimed at getting people writing regularly which it certainly achieved by setting assignments. It also explored different writing such as short stories, poetry and plays, so if you are interested in novel writing then this is only one aspect and may make the course less interesting to you. The course I attended covered poetry and I am dreadful at poetry and could only think of limericks. I found that quite embarrassing and was the lowlight of the course for me.

The highlight was meeting other authors. This is a useful aspect as you meet others who may be able to help by discussing ideas after class. Getting folk to the pub afterwards is not a bad idea.

Overall, the course was helpful to an extent but also disappointing as I was really interested in developing my writing and time was too limited for that. The plus point was meeting others. For the price it is worth considering.


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