rita ackerman

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On-Line Writing Classes


I love going to writing workshops, seminars, and discussions. I love being around writers and I always learn something. I always take a lot of notes and pictures and pick up every handout, and card or bookmark I can find. Since I started this blog I’ve been especially determined to gather all I can.

The problem is I don’t go back to those notes and handouts. I get all inspired and anxious to write but it doesn’t last through my day-to-day life. Another big problem, for me, is that I write articles on Old West history. Although some of the information I learn can be applied to all writing the inspiration tends more towards fiction.

I like to write fiction. One of my dreams is to write a cozy mystery, or a ghost story, or . . . well, you get the idea. Through my writing group I start a lot of stories but I seldom follow through with them. They are sitting on a shelf or a few have even made it into the computer.

When I won an on-line writing class at a recent all-day seminar I wasn’t sure I’d take advantage of it. I’m so glad I did.

The class I won was through Laurie Schnebly Campbell. She has a variety of classes which build on each other. Each workshop is a series of email lectures including homework assignments. Classmates may also chat with each other. desert rose 030

Some of her classes are through WriterUniv.Com and others through other such organizations but they can all be reached through her site at Laurie Schnebly Campbell.

I signed up for “Plotting via Motivation” thinking I would start on that ghost story novel.

What an amazing experience. Because I was working every day and had those assignments to turn in by the end of the three weeks I had pages and pages of information ready to start writing. I knew all my characters and why they were doing what they were doing.

The notes and information didn’t disappear into my file drawer. I printed out the lectures and assignments and took them everywhere and worked on my story every day. I loved it. I learned so much because I was applying the information and Laurie’s great comments directly to my own work.

Well, I couldn’t stop there. I signed up for the next class, “Master Class: From Plot to Finish” and ended up with a scene by scene “outline” of the novel. It’s all very basic and I’m sure things will change as I get into the actual writing but I’ve never gotten this far with all my fits and starts.

I’ve done National Novel Writer’s Month and have 50,000 words written for a number of books but I never went back to them. I’ve taken creative writing classes and attended many workshops. Nothing has gotten me going like this.

I had no idea this would be so beneficial. A special thanks to Laurie for introducing me to this mode of learning/writing. I have another one of her classes on my to-do list.

I know there are other classes out there so if you have taken an on-line class that was especially helpful please spread the word through a comment below. Then go check out Laurie’s classes. If you haven’t taken one before you will be so glad you did.




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