Hi all! Remember when I was here a few weeks ago, tail between my legs, and apologized for the lack of Fiction Friday posts before declaring the drought was over? And then, remember how I’ve only posted one short story since then? Yep? Okay great, we’re all caught up on what a loser I’ve been.
I’m not exactly the loser I seem to be. I have actually been writing. A lot. Not only that, I’ve been learning! Thanks to Twitter, I discovered the How Writers Write Fiction 2015 class. It’s an online course through the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (IWP). I have to confess that I had no idea what a prestigious program IWP was when I signed up. And since the course was free (that’s right: FREE), I completely underestimated what I was in for. But, when I was assigned homework before the class officially started during the Welcome Week, I figured it out pretty quickly.
The course is broken into seven sessions:
Class Session 1: Starting with Character
Class Session 2: Expanding on Character: Cast and Dialogue
Class Session 3: Working with Plot
Class Session 4: Using Character to Produce Frame and Arc
Class Session 5: Voice and Setting
Class Session 6: Immersion and Setting: Description and World-Building
Class Session 7: Embracing Revision
Awesome, right? Each session involves videos, reading assignments, writing assignments, peer reviews, and participation in group discussions. The lessons from the mentors, the homework assigned, and the insightful discussions make it easy to see why IWP’s reputation is so golden. Free doesn’t mean easy, that’s for sure. Each homework assignment is more challenging than the next.
The icing on the cake? The immediate feedback from your fellow classmates and mentors! I have met some talented writers (from beginners to published) who are incredibly supportive and offer notes that are genuinely meant to help you become a better writer.
I jumped on this course because I wanted to finally get my next book out of my head and on paper. “Inspiration exists, but it must find you working,” said Picasso. I wish I could shake his hand and tell him how right he was. I’m even considering jumping into NaNoWriMo again this year, despite this crazy course load.
Look, I’ll admit that I’m exhausted. In fact, every day I wonder how in the world I graduated from college when this one class is kicking my behind! But despite any of that, I’m unbelievably inspired and exhilarated.
So, fellow writers in search of a challenge that will force you out a rut or even better, your comfort zone, I can’t recommend this course enough. And I can't wait to sign up for How Writer’s Write Fiction 2016!