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Creative Writing classes

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  #1  
Old 04-14-2011, 08:36 PM
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Icon6 Creative Writing classes


So I'm thinking about joining a Creative Writing class for the sole purpose of getting help on my first novel. I've written so many drafts of the damned things (it's 389 pages long) and I can't convince my wife or friends to read it. Well, that's not true but they read it so very slowly and I'm just impatient.

Do you think that going that route is wise or should I just be patient and wait for friends and family to finish reading it first?

I imagine it would be fun to join such a class just to be in a creative environment like that on a weekly basis.

Anyway, looking forward to reading your thoughts on the matter.

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Old 04-15-2011, 01:17 AM
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From my experience, a creative writing class isn't there so you can bring in your own work and have it read. I mean, you may find someone who's willing to read it without wanting anything in return or as an exchange. The teacher may not mind either. (But I doubt he/she would want to go through an entire novel. Best just a few pages.)

In any case, you'll find that you'll most likely be assigned work/tasks to do and you read those out in class. Apart from that, you'll probably examine different narrative techniques like 'skaz' (that was something I learnt on one) and just get to read different authors' writing. Plus, you'll see how to get ideas from any news story and such, if you struggle with that.

Anyways... I don't think it's what you're looking for, but that doesn't mean it's not worthwhile going on. You get to meet people who also write and if you're anything like me, that's great, because my friends have no interest. I don't think it'll help you so much on the grammar and content side of things though if you're already fairly decent in that department.

(All of the above is what my class was like anyway, so yours might be different.)
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:40 AM
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Post a few chapters, not all at once, here on the WB. You will get the unbiased feedback your family and friends won't give. It will be of benefit. Creative writing instruction will also be of help.
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:51 AM
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Unless it's specific to novels, a class isn't really worth it. I have seen one or two classes specific to novels that do exist.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:24 AM
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I wish I could post the chapters here but then I wouldn't be able to publish this story down the road. At least, that's my understanding.

As for the creative writing class, it's cost prohibitive now that I found out what they charge per credit hour. Oh well. Guess I'll just keep bugging my friends to finish reading the damn thing.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:39 AM
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Member's Only forum helps to mitigate any damage done by posting online. Guests can't view the section, so it helps to protect first rights.

Someone else who has more knowledge in the area though will have to say whether publishers could still frown on it. But from what I gather, it's fine. People post there and still send the pieces off so.. *shrugs*

And yeah, creative writing classes are costly when you don't have much income.
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:43 AM
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Even if it's not in the member's only forum, one or two chapters shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:42 PM
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Oh ok. I looked at the Members Only forum. That would be perfect. I think I'll do that, at least just to get some feedback on whether the first few chapters are worthwhile.

Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:54 PM
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The purpose of all writing classes is to learn various styles and guide you to the writing style you find best. It really involves taking the class and finding a style you can write consistently to, then turning it into something you are proud of and holds the values you want to embed. Like the above said, share it here (as I am) and get some feedback on your progress.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:19 AM
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No sense in paying hundreds for a class where too often the students are too afraid to give you an honest critique. Just post it here for free and you'll get the same (much likely better) critique quality.

I'm in a Fiction Writing class right now that fortunately has been very good to me, but otherwise my experiences with writing classes aren't what you'd think they'd be. Like I said, some/most people are just too nice with their critiques, afraid of getting their hands dirty because they don't want to hurt the author's feelings. Which is stupid. If you sign up for a writing class to get your ego rubbed, you signed up for all the wrong reasons. I actually told someone that in my class after they continuously refused every critique we gave her, telling us that we "just don't understand" her writing (this seems to be the main excuse among defensive writers).
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:41 AM
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My previous experience with a creative writing class left me wanting as well. It seemed like most of the people in the class were just doing it for an easy A and they didn't really care about becoming good writers.
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:18 PM
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If your Fiction class was an easy A then it wasn't a very good class. :P
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:57 PM
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I'm not sure creative writing classes are the best thing for creative people. Oxymoron I know.

It's a little weird. I've always been afraid of taking one because I wouldn't be able to think clearly or get back to where I was, as stupid as that sounds (and it does sound stupid.)
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Old 06-24-2011, 09:02 AM
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I've been to two. They have you write on the spot about a certain topic and than read it to the other members. Also they ask you to write in different styles. But to find out if you're a true writer, you better take another route. Yes post on the fiction or members thread.
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