Thursday, 18 March 2010

Empowering Characters Emotions

More than half-way through the course, though I feel like I am barely scratching the surface. But a quick review:

So far I have received 5 lectures. 6th will be posted today at some point. I have yet to assimilate a lot of this, because good assimilation only comes after a great deal of practice, and I haven't done that yet.

A lot of the assignments are more suitable for second or third edit - so first, I am focusing on doing the edits on my first draft, and then the assignments.

The material is great. I have already learned a lot just by reading the lectures, and I know that it will help me when I write the next first draft. It is also helping me with my edits.

I have only found one thing wrong with this class - it's way too large. Over 150 people, which means far too many emails in the group, and as some people get into conversation mode, not all of them relevant.

Having so many people also means that Margie can't possibly answer every message. So while her responses are great and helpful, and it is possible to learn a lot from other people's mistakes, it's become a case of whoever is free to be around on the messages all day. Most people aren't.

So I am treating this class as more of a lecture packet. I keep the material, and I will save Margie's responses, and then work through it all at my own pace. I am not really interacting with the class, because again, it's just far too many people, so to actually have quality chat with someone is impossible unless you do it privately - but in which case, I would prefer to get to know someone a little before I start chatting with them privately.

I might take a class again, but it would be just for Margie's responses to people's questions - so that I might learn from that. But it doesn't meet my idea of interactive class just because of the number of people in it.

How about you? Do you prefer taking classes? Online or in person? What level of interaction do you prefer?


  1. I'm glad you're taking stuff from it, but it's sucky that the class is too big. :(

    I prefer to learn through reading books (both fiction and "how to"), then asking the odd question of other writers (either ones I know, or through AW).

    That said, Lorraine at the Writers Bureau has been a lot of help, even if I am sick to bloody death of short stories. ;-)


  2. I have always enjoyed learning in classes, though I don't usually ask other students. I suppose it's the formal environment that I like -- weird I know :P

    But I also like learning from books, which is just as well since books and writers are all part of a package :-)

    I am nearly done with Fiction part - just last assignment left in Fiction, which I will send eventually. But yeah, not a big fan of short story here either.

  3. Hehe :)

    I've pretty much stopped with the assignments now. I've read all the relevant stuff in the books, and don't think the rest will help that much. :)


  4. I can't resist not finishing the course, and besides I am interested in non-fiction.

    But you accomplished the purpose. Got published. :-)

  5. Indeedy! I took everything I needed from it. :)


  6. What you're doing sounds like how I'd be handling it anyway. For the online class I'm taking, it's more "self-study with the option of online forums" ...and I mostly eschew the forums simply because I'm not at the same place many of the other students are. I've never been a person to do homework "by the letter", so I skip a lot of the worksheets and just apply the lessons as they relate to my stuff. Many of the other students can't or don't want to do that, and I don't want to distract anyone following the lessons to the letter.

    I've always been a "self-study" person though...I was home-schooled through high school, so I'm more comfortable just learning everything for myself from books, and then discussing with other people as needed.

    Sounds like you're getting a lot of great material that will be very helpful when you're ready to use it. :-)

  7. Jamie,

    I like both. If I am in an actual class room, I would follow homework and lessons to the letter, but on online, it depends on attention. If it was a small class, I would probably follow everything properly, but because it's so huge, I can't be asked to wait for a reply for ages, and also don't particularly want to post my work with 150 strangers.

    Wow home schooled - can't imagine that. I had so much fun in school, some of the best memories from that time.

  8. I prefer being in class when it comes to actual schooling but if it's a workshop, I think I would do as you are doing. I would work it at my own pace.

    Is there a survey at the end of the class? I would suggest they lower the number of students or have more people working with the students.
    I've never taken a class like that online though. The most people I've had in an online class is 30 and even that was tough!

  9. Sounds like what I'd do too. I haven't taken any lecture online classes, only online classes where you take tests etc. It does sound like the class is too big, sorry about that. Well at least you're getting something out of it ;o)