In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to the techniques that masters of fiction use to ground a story in a concrete world. From the most realist settings to the most fantastical, writers will learn how to describe the physical world in sharp, sensory detail. We will also learn how to build credibility through research, and to use creative meditation exercises to deepen our own understanding of our story worlds, so that our readers can see all that we imagine.
Persuasive Settings: Why Description Matters
Writing a great short story is like conveying a dream. As we will see from studying one famous master, a "persuasive" setting is necessary in order to build mood, character, and even plot.
If You Build It, They Will Come
Pack your fiction with "vitamin-rich" detail. Looking at the work of both masters and students, we will discuss how funny, meaningful, and powerful details can be.
Credibility and Research
Create settings both familiar and unfamiliar to you, while avoiding common missteps. You will be guided through several meditation exercises as you practice "imaginative research".
Setting and description works in realist and non-realist fiction, as well as across literary genres. Consider how to write about your own "primal landscape".
Clifton K. Prince completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
It's not really a free class, but class-central listed it as a free course when I searched for this subject matter. I didn't know until a week into it, that I would have had to pay almost $400 US dollars to get a decent level of access. Without that access,...
It's not really a free class, but class-central listed it as a free course when I searched for this subject matter. I didn't know until a week into it, that I would have had to pay almost $400 US dollars to get a decent level of access. Without that access, I can't submit my assignments and nobody else can see them, so there's no opportunity for feedback and therefore less incentive to keep going.
It's eerily quiet on all the course forums. I can't quite determine whether the majority of the discussions among classmates are hidden from me because I'm not a paid member, or whether there's simply not much discussion going on right now. The welcome-threads and the meet-and-greet threads are almost entirely empty! But the stats say that there are about 350 people enrolled, including myself.
The lecture and instruction content, so far, and the exercises, are very good, though they are the sort of thing you could probably do for yourself if you have an education up to, oh, say, typical North American undergraduate level, for example. My instructor Amity Gage is a novelist herself, and she speaks to the camera well, with carefully planned professional short lectures. I find that when I set myself exercises, I often don't do them, so I take these classes to gain the incentive and the calendar structure (among other reasons). But without the opportunity to submit, that incentive and structure fall immediately by the wayside. The price, to me, is preposterous! I'd be willing to pay in the range of $20 for this kind of content, to get the right to submit and get feedback, but wow they want 20 times that much!
Very disappointed in the platform, the lock-out of people from forums (if you're taking it for free, be aware of the non-free nature of the class), and (so far) with the lack of discussion at Coursera. Very happy with the actual course content, however much of it I am allowed to access.
Cyn Gar is taking this course right now, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Very disappointed. The examples of contemporary literature used as illustration are, to use the vernacular, total snore-fests . What has happened to the craft of writing? Incomplete and run-on sentences are fine for dialogue and poetry, not prose, yet this class uses example after example of this shoddy style that ultimately comes across as being full of itself.
If you want to learn how to write well, take a different set of classes.
Pj Harrison completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
All I can say is I tried. I really did. I didn't find anything in the class I couldn't find much better expressed by various published writers for free and in classes offered by Writer Associations such as RWA or others from free to 10 or 20 dollars to members.
Zoe Aukim completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
The instructor Amity Gaige was very professional and interesting. Taking writing instruction from a published author gives one confidence that they know what they are talking about. It's a shame the writing exercises are only available for peer review if you are paying for the course but it doesn't stop you from working on them yourself just without the option for getting feedback.
Abigail Peterson is taking this course right now.
The responses and results are certainly not free, but the content itself is good. I am going to work through it and have one of my contemporaries give me feedback instead of paying for the feedback.
Tyler Snoek completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course didn't feel as useful as the previous courses in this series. The week on research was the most informative for me which is very much worth the effort. I must admit though that I only watched the video's in the syllabus and didn't actually sign up and pay for it. Getting some peer reviews, which I have done for other courses which was almost always highly disappointing, didn't seem to be worth that amount of money.