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Online Course

Start Writing Fiction

The Open University via FutureLearn

6.9k
  • Provider FutureLearn
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate $59 Certificate Available
  • Effort 3 hours a week
  • Duration 8 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

Taken this course? Share your experience with other students. Write review

Overview

Discover the rituals and approaches that successful fiction writers use

On this online course, established writers – including Louis de Bernières, Patricia Duncker, Alex Garland, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tim Pears, Michèle Roberts and Monique Roffey – will talk about how they started writing.

You’ll consider the rituals of writing and keeping a journal; learn how to develop your ideas; reflect on your own writing and editing; hear writers talk about their approach to research; and start turning events into plot.

You’ll also have the opportunity to review the work of fellow writers and receive comments on your own, learning to read as a writer and respond to feedback.

This course is intended for those with an interest in starting to write fiction or improving their fiction writing, and does not require any previous experience of studying this subject.

Please be aware that participation in this course involves reviewing work posted by other learners. You may find some material used in these stories is of an adult nature (e.g. language, sex, violence) and although captured in context, may offend. Learners on this course are instructed to place warnings at the top of their work to indicate use of such content.

Recommended for learners age 16+.

Taught by

Derek Neale

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Reviews for FutureLearn's Start Writing Fiction Based on 20 reviews

  • 5 stars 60%
  • 4 stars 15%
  • 3 stars 10%
  • 2 stars 10%
  • 1 star 5%

Did you take this course? Share your experience with other students.

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  • 1
Clifton P
by Clifton completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
The content looked like it would be OK to good, but I departed from this course after the second week for two reasons:

First, I found it to be beginner, a much lower level than I had expected.

It is geared toward encouraging the inner artist (keep a journal; notice the telling detail and record it; try to stick to a schedule; just do it! etc.). I had (incorrectly) anticipated instruction on how to create good beginnings (the "starts") for my works of fiction ("Start Writing Fiction" meant "Initiate a Work of Fiction Well" to me), but this course only offers (vague) …
33 people found
this review helpful
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Arshia M
Arshia completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
Excellent course for beginners who feel overwhelmed by the technicalities of story telling and the nuances that go into getting a plot together. The reviews and discussions forums were amazing and the feel of the course generally enabled me to start writing my first novel.
29 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
I registered with Futurelearn on the suggestion from my wife. I've been writing for many years and thought a lightly-structured course like this might help to get back to basics.

What I've found is a course that sets people up to be limited in their writing outlook. For an 8 week course it still focuses on character creation right into its 6th week. The 7th and 8th being washy ideas on how to collaborate and give feedback to other writers.

At the outset I saw the benefit of a discussion forum style approach but quickly understood that most people (including myself) where just shouting into null space as most people dont bother to provide feedback.

It feels like this course lacks any real form of curricula at all.

I wouldn't suggest that anyone looking to be a writer, unless you want to punch out a Mills & Boon romance that over emphasises character descriptions.

Am I ever glad I'm not paying for this course.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Marilyn C
by Marilyn is taking this course right now.
I'm doing this course for the second time and finding it invaluable. A writer for many years, it still gives me ideas and discoveries which I would not have pursued otherwise. This is not only thanks to the course presentation and content but to the discussions which follow each section of the course.

I highly recommend it irrespective of what stage you are at as a writer.
23 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
Awesome class. Helped me out so much with the format and structure that story telling requires. Discussions were amazing and overall i feel it really did help me grow as a writer.
11 people found
this review helpful
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Erik E
Erik is taking this course right now, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
I'm sure there might be something worth gleaning from this MOOC, but after the second week I had to drop it. You get no feedback from peers, the content is watered down and doesn't really challenge me in a way to stretch myself for my goals.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Leo N
by Leo is taking this course right now, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
great one, amazing ways to do and to know. Thank you

P.S: I love that and I thinking to do other, work and study forever.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Isidora D
by Isidora completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
The course offerese a lots of tools for beginners, specialy on how to create a character and bit on setting. It offeres some technical knowledge too. However educators are not present at all, what was main negative.
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