With the exception of a high school elective creative writing course, I never actually took a fiction writing course. That was, until last year, when I was introduced to one.
Back in New Jersey, at a writers’ critique group, someone there spoke about turning in an assignment for an Internet short story writing class. Interested, I asked him who was providing the online course. He later emailed me the link: Ed2Go.com.
According to the website, Ed2Go.com is “the industry leader in online learning for adults. We provide the highest-quality online continuing education courses that are affordable and easy to use through a network of more than 2,100 top colleges, universities, and other organizations.” Affordable? High-quality? Do this all online instead of driving some miles to a community college a few nights a week? Where do I sign up?
So I did sign up for Advanced Fiction Writing, a course which, obviously, is more advanced than a beginner’s writing course. Taking a beginner’s fiction writing course would have impeded my progress and imploded my patience. For 24 hours spread out over six weeks, I learned about proper plot structure, character development, building conflict and more. Steve Alcorn, author of How to Fix Your Novel and an imagineer of Disney theme parks, led the course.
I found the course so beneficial I downloaded it for future reference (an option available to students). In addition, I took this knowledge with me and recognized the several flaws that were wrong with my fiction manuscripts. Basically (as is often the case with very rough drafts) I had to start from scratch, re-crafting these stories. I found unstructured plot and inconsistent character point-of-views among my problems.
Why did I not turn to a fiction writing course before? Because I was afraid that by taking up a writing course, it’s basically admitting I’m not a talented writer. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The excitement of knowing I can and will grow as a write thrills met to challenge myself. I want to take some more fiction writing courses from Ed2Go.com and continue to take workshop courses at my local library.
Ed2go.com offers rather affordable courses. Writer’s Digest and Gotham Writers also offer online courses. As well, I subscribe to many writers’ blogs that impart tricks of the trade for improving my craft and publishing and marketing books. Subscribed blogs include WriteToDone.com and LiveWriteThrive.com.
Teresa Edmond-Sargeant is an Orlando, FL-based poet, author and former reporter originally from northern New Jersey. Her poetry has appeared in anthologies featuring NJ poets. During her time as a journalist, she won two NJ Press Association awards. In 2006, she published her debut poetry book, “How Fate’s Confusion Connects”; the book’s second edition will be released later in 2014. Her first short story ebook “Eve the First” was released in March 2014.