I have mentioned Futurelearn on this blog before. It’s a UK-based platform for short online courses from British and international universities. All Futurelearn courses are free and open to anyone in the world.
Anyway, I thought you might like to know that a course titled Start Writing Fiction begins on 9 January 2017. It comes from The Open University, a well-respected UK distance learning institution. It will run for eight weeks and you can enrol now if you wish.
Start Writing Fiction is intended for anyone with an interest in starting to write fiction or improving their fiction writing. There is a particular focus on creating interesting, believable characters. The course does not require any previous experience of studying the subject.
On the website, it says:
Start Writing Fiction focuses on a skill which is central to the writing of all stories and novels – creating characters.
You will listen to established writers, such as Louis de Bernières, Patricia Duncker, Alex Garland, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tim Pears, Michèle Roberts and Monique Roffey, talk about how they started writing. You’ll consider the rituals of writing and the importance of keeping a journal.
You’ll learn how to develop your ideas and the importance of reflecting on writing and editing, and you’ll hear other writers talking about their approaches to research and consider ways of turning events into a plot.
You’ll also have the opportunity to review and comment on the work of fellow writers, and receive peer feedback on your own story, learning the importance of reading as a writer and how to receive and respond to feedback.
The course is run by Dr Derek Neale. It requires a commitment of around three hours a week.
For more information (including a video trailer) and to register, visit the Start Writing Fiction information page of the Futurelearn website.
Futurelearn have lots of other interesting free courses, incidentally. I recently took one called Secrets of Successful Ageing from Trinity College, Dublin, which was informative and thought-provoking. I am also enrolled on an Open University course called Managing My Investments in January. As well as the teaching itself, another big attraction of Futurelearn courses is the opportunity they provide to interact with fellow students all over the world.
If you have any comments or questions about Futurelearn, as ever, please do post them below.