FutureLearn’s ‘Start Writing Fiction’ Course

Hm.

Perhaps this course should have been entitled ‘Start Writing’, and lose the ‘Fiction’ part altogether. It’s the start of Week 3 of this free, online Open University course and so far the requirements have been only a few paragraphs and to start a writing journal (something I would assume more writers do anyway in some form or another – mine is on my phone, for example).

The main issue of this course, for me, is how accessible it has been made. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the excellent teaching at Nottingham Trent University during the course of my MA, but the tasks do seem overly simple. A task to ‘think’ about starting phrases for writing seems like something children would learn to employ during their SATs. And cliches are surely tackled in secondary school?

Week Three seems to be focussing on editing and redrafting. Really? At week three? Perhaps a short story or flash fiction, but certainly not a novel. This is not Nanowrimo. There is also the first real ‘assignment’ – having a piece or work workshopped by others. It will be interesting to see if this spices the course up a bit. Though, of course, for a free online course, you can’t really complain at any aspect, can you?