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Fantasy Fiction Writing Class

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#1 Dan Violet Sagmiller   Members   


Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:34 PM

I certainly don't mean to abuse any advertising rules and the only reason I'm posting this, as an amateur writer in games, I would be glad someone told me about this (if I didn't already know)


Coursera, just started a free online college course from University of Michigan about Fantasy and Science Fiction Writing.  It just started today, but I think you can register up to 3 weeks in and catch up.  


if your interested, here is the link to check it out:




Here's my take on it so far.  

 I've only watched a couple videos, which is more introductory than anything else at this point, but he is clear and to the point.  At first I though part of what he was covering relating to 3 different ways to read a story about a snake who kills a boy and loses his tail was a bit odd/boring, but I stayed listening, and have found that the perspective and value was actually insightful.


I found the instructor to be a bit slow moving (excessively at some points) but I never feel like he glazed over a topic, or moved to quickly, giving time to really think about what he's saying.


Any way, its pretty professional in quality, and I recommend others might want to look, at least just for a preview of it to see if its useful.  Oh, and if anyone has taken related courses from this guy before, I'd like to hear your opinion on the value of them.  


And again, my apologies if this is viewed as spam, I certainly did not intend it that way.

Moltar - "Do you even know how to use that?"

Space Ghost - “Moltar, I have a giant brain that is able to reduce any complex machine into a simple yes or no answer."

Dan - "Best Description of AI ever."

#2 sunandshadow   Members   


Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:03 PM

I'm stamping this with approval as non-spam since the course is both free and relevant.  On a personal note, your comments about the instructor's approach make me consider how I'd teach a course like that.  Fantasy seem like too broad of a category, it would be more manageable to specify a plot type (like adventure, drama, or romance).  In fact I'd be interested to hear anyone's thoughts on the topic of "how to teach writing".

Edited by sunandshadow, 23 January 2013 - 05:04 PM.

I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me. I also love pet-breeding games.

#3 EricMarsh   Members   


Posted 15 March 2013 - 12:23 AM

Teaching writing is tricky. If it were me, I'd invest a couple of weeks in a course to classical theatre and its transitions to current media, what actions and plots got left behind and what new ideas emerged.


I'd definitely take a week to overview the monomyth/hero's journey, outlined here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monomyth


Using the monomyth structure, begin to dissect current popular stories being told via stage, film, press, and game; requiring students to analyze three or four works they know by heart and fit it into the structure, pick their best one and exhibit it to the class for comparison; that'd only last a class session (1-2 hours), but would be a great exercise for their first attempt at writing their own, submitting a draft, a revision, and a final for presentation and grading.


But I only have an associate's degree in science, what do I know about curricula creation...

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