Whether or not you have a special talent for the English language, creative writing can be difficult. Have you ever taken an art class, only to be given an “open assignment” from your teacher? Every time I had an open assignment my mind would spin with thousands of ideas yet couldn’t seem to settle on just one. When the possibilities are endless, it can be difficult to decide exactly what you’re going to do. The same goes with creative writing. You may have a love for grammar and vocabulary, but actually constructing an original poem or story can be extremely complicated. When you find yourself suffering from writer’s block or you need some direction, online creative writing courses may be just what you need to get writing again.
Want to get started right away? Udemy has a wonderful course that will give you all the pointers you need to start writing your own fiction novel!
Poetry, Fiction, or Non-Fiction?
Creative writing is an umbrella subject that includes poetry, fiction and non-fiction. “Creative” doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to invent characters, dialogue and a plot-line; it simply means that you are bringing your own creative flair to whatever it is you are writing. Depending on which type of creative writing you want to start out with, you can find different classes geared towards that specific type. And you’re in luck, because Udemy has tons of courses on writing that will help you find your creative flow and get you out of that writer’s block.
There are a lot of different types of poetry. You could begin to write haikus, or sonnets, or limericks – there are tons of poetry types that you may not have even heard of yet! If you’re unsure of which type of poetry you’d like to continue with, taking a class that introduces you to various types would be your best bet. If you already know which type you want to practice, finding a class on that particular type will help you dive deeper into the particulars and ways to create the best poem you possibly can. And if you’re turned off by poetry in general because all you can think of are nursery rhymes, don’t worry; most types of poetry don’t even rhyme! So if you think that writing poetry is going to turn into you sitting at a desk pondering what rhymes with the word ‘eggplant’ for an entire night, you can get those thoughts out of your head. Some types of poetry are simply stories separated into stanzas, think epics like Beowulf.
Fiction is (in my opinion) the most enjoyable – and potentially the most difficult – of them all. You can write a short story, you can write a novel, you can write a science-fiction, you can write a romance – anything that you’re interested in can be turned into some type of story. If you’ve ever read Pride and Prejudice, that’s a fiction! Now think of the Harry Potter series, that’s a fiction too! You can even write a semi-autobiographical novel about your life while loosely basing it off of events that have actually happened. The twist? You can make yourself sound so much more exciting than you really are. Your wildest dreams and worst nightmares can all come to life within your novel, all it takes is a great writer to make it a reality.
This is where the line of creativity gets blurred. Non-fiction, by definition, is a story or novel that comes directly from real life. This means, if you’re writing a non-fiction autobiographical novel, you unfortunately can’t exaggerate on your travels around the world in a sailboat or that time you fought a lion and won. Non-fiction is strictly fact, although that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed any creative license in the process. In order to put your creativity into a non-fiction story, you can use highly descriptive language that can help readers immerse themselves in the story without getting bored. Think similes, metaphors, different types of imagery – anything that will make the story more exciting without exaggerating any of the facts. If a girl has red hair, instead of simply saying that you could say “when the sun hit her copper-colored hair it shone like a thousand fires”.
Finding the Perfect Class
When looking for a class on either poetry, fiction, or non-fiction, what exactly are you looking for? Are you looking for a basic introduction, or have you been writing for a while and are looking for ways to improve on what you already know? Sometimes you can get bored with classes because they’re too juvenile, but other times a refresher may be just what you need to get writing again. There are classes geared specifically towards character development, others towards plot development, and others based strictly on English grammar techniques. Take a second and think about what you think your greatest writing weaknesses are. Writing all of your weaknesses down on a piece of paper may make it easier to organize them. Once you have determined what your weaknesses are, do a quick search for classes that will help you overcome that weakness! Udemy has tons of courses that will get those creative gears flowing again.
A Writer Writes
The most important thing to remember is that, even when taking classes, you should still be writing as much as you possibly can. Take what you learn from the classes you enroll in and begin applying that knowledge to your daily writing. If you’re feeling stuck, don’t think about it too hard. Set a timer and write a stream-of-consciousness piece without stopping for at least 10 minutes. Practice makes perfect, so the combination of a writing class and continuous writing – no matter what type of writing it is – will help you in the long run. The next thing you know, you’ll be conjuring up stories about mythical creatures and dream-like lands, using perfectly descriptive literary devices and creating characters that people can easily relate to. Let’s get started!