Taking an Online Course

This week, my six-week online Essentials of Mystery Writing class came to an end.  I really enjoyed it. I think I learned a lot as well. The readings, class assignments, and online interaction took up roughly 3 hours a week.   It was a Writer’s Digest course and I highly recommend it.

Here are some of the pros of taking an online course:

  • feedback from other writers
  • feedback from your teacher, who is usually a published writer
  • a better understanding of the requirements of genre fiction
  • time to develop all the moving parts in your story: characters, plot, setting
  • deadlines to keep you motivated on your work
  • assigned readings that teach you about your craft
  • focuses you on the key elements of your story
  • learning how to craft a synopsis
  • practice accepting constructive criticism from your peers as well as your teacher who has industry experience
  • flexibility in when you do your work

Here are the cons of taking an online course:

  • you do have actual deadlines
  • you have to fix stuff in your story
  • you only get as much out of it as you put into it

I’m thinking about taking another online course for romance writing because my newest novel is a romance, but I’m still drafting that one. Hopefully, I’ll have that done by the fall. Then I’ll look into taking a course either from Writers Digest or  Gotham Writers’ Workshop.

Have any of you taken online courses? Are there any you would recommend for romance writing?

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6 Responses to Taking an Online Course

  1. berry says:

    I took an online college math class and had to withdraw because I was failing it. Math is different than writing. You either get it or you don’t. I didn’t.

  2. blackwatertown says:

    Your course sounds good. I haven’t done one. I think I fear learning some cold hard truths about myself that I’d rather avoid.

    • I really enjoyed it. I found the criticism in a classroom environment much better than online critique groups. I think knowing that someone is monitoring what you’re doing and that there are standards you have to appear to creates a more tactful feedback process.:)

  3. Emma says:

    As you know I’ve never taken an online course, but thanks to all your great posts I’m desperately wanting to take one. Unfortunately, the last few weeks have been quite tough for me because something unexpected happened, requiring my full attention. I haven’t been able to write or do anything related to writing, but ordered some of the MWA Symposium recordings you mentioned in a previous blog entry. Things are looking better now, and I should be able to get back to my writing soon. Can’t wait to listen to the recordings and write/rewrite a scene or two. Who knows, maybe we’ll end up meeting in an online class one day. 🙂

    • I sure hope we do cross paths in an online class! 🙂 Sorry to hear you’ve had a lot on your plate, but glad you’ll be able to get back to your writing. Enjoy the recordings!

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