As one who doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions I made an exception this year in that I decided to set myself a goal to begin improving my creative writing skills, particularly in the area of writing fiction. Other than the recent task set by the BBC’s Script Gym I haven’t written fiction for a very long time and would like to get back into it.
I decided to have a look as to what Creative Writing courses or groups were available online or in my local area and I happened to stumble across a website called ‘Future Learn’ (www.futurelearn.com) which provides a wide range of free courses online. Their courses cover a wide range of areas from the science of nutrition to an overview of cybersecurity.
The course that caught my eye was the ‘Start Writing Fiction’ course run by the Open University. The course lasts for 8 weeks and you are expected as a guideline to dedicate 3 hours a week to completing the requirements of each section of the course, for this course there are eight sections, one for each week.
All the courses on the site are run by a particular university such as Keio University and University College London meaning that the online lessons/teaching you receive should be of a good standard.
Although they courses on the site do not offer a qualification at the end at such, you can purchase a statement of participation to prove that you have taken part in the course.
For me it is not about getting another qualification under my belt, instead it is learning more about an interest I have in creative writing and to pick up skills and techniques I would not otherwise gain from just writing on my own.
I have just completed week one of the course and have already gained some key skills such as the importance of keeping a journal and developing the description of a character. The other participants on the course are keen to get involved in discussions and it is a good way to see a variety of opinions on topics and to share ideas.
The teaching so far has consisted of reading articles, watching videos and engaging in discussion. I feel this use of different types of media helps keep you interested and helps you easily understand the concepts of the course, what is even better are that the resources are completely free and no extra resources are required to do the course!
I am looking forward to seeing what the next few weeks on the course teaches me and if I produce any creative writing which I think looks reasonable I shall post it on this blog!