Back to Basics

Reset buttonAnyone who is a regular visitor to my site will know about the Start writing fiction course, run by The Open University, that began on Monday of this week.

There appears to be an eclectic mix of writers using this forum, from complete novices tentatively dipping a toe in the water to semi-proficient writers – like myself – who are still honing their skills, hopefully on the way to publication. But also included in this mix are a sprinkling of published authors ready to sharpen their already considerable talents.

I have almost completed the module for week one that takes us back to basics by analysing our motivations to write, looks at the advantages of maintaining a notebook for every conceivable imaginative idea, and also examines our approach to character analysis.

After each exercise we are invited to post our efforts in the comments section for others to read, ‘like’ or offer thoughts as to its merits. It is fascinating to see writers with such a breadth of variety and concepts in action, and serves as a real confidence boost if you are fortunate enough to receive positive feedback from a fellow student.

It has also proved itself to be a good networking tool because you can follow anyone whose style appeals to your taste and watch their progress, and in doing this it helps to re-evaluate your own. The only downside to this exercise is that, like other social networking sites, it can become compulsive if not tethered with too much time spent networking instead of writing. Self-control is the key, so tally-ho as I prepare to move headlong into week two.

I’d love to hear from anyone else on the course and your thoughts as to its benefits, or not if that be the case.

On a similar note, June’s issue of Writing Magazine offers an additional supplement created by Just write, an online creative writing community. The booklet features ‘7 days of inspiration to unlock your creativity’ and is full of useful tips about generating ideas, character and plot formation and the importance of editing and redrafting. I’m sure I’ll read it repeatedly until it finally sinks in and I write a publishable story. Hope you find it as practical. Happy writing!

Image credit: iqoncept / 123RF Stock Photo

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One Response to Back to Basics

  1. I’ve often wondered about creative writing courses, especially the more high profile ones run by the OU. It sounds good, Julie, and I wish you well. I’m sure you’ll learn a lot.

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