Creative Writing I - Getting started

The proper relationship of a writer to his or her own life is similar to a cook with a cupboard. What the cook makes from the cupboard is not the same thing as what's in the cupboard.

Lorrie Moore

Writing is scary, it’s a fact. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is to do with a lack of ‘know how’. GETTING STARTED is all about giving you enough ‘know how’ to get you writing.

Essentially for people who are new to creative writing, it can also be of help to those who have perhaps already been on a course and are looking for some further direction and encouragement.

Like all our courses GETTING STARTED runs for ten weeks in real time - the first week being a free orientation week. The nine week creative writing course proper is a mixture of informative notes and writing exercises and assignments. During these nine weeks you will learn how to express your thoughts and feelings in words. You will also learn how to make your writing engaging, to create credible characters, write lively dialogue and start drafting short stories. You will also come to recognise that story ideas are found everywhere, and how you can derive them from your own day-to-day experiences. By the end of the course you will have crafted a series of story sketches and/or the beginning draft of a short story.

In total there are eight writing assignments to complete. This may seem a lot, don’t worry! You do as many as you are able given your individual circumstances. There is no right or wrong amount to complete. However, that said, the writing assignments are an opportunity to put into practice the writing techniques and skills you are studying, and as you get feedback on all work produced (from your colleagues and your tutor), the more writing assignments you complete the more you will get out of the course.

Our students come from all sorts of backgrounds and countries, and are all ages. What everyone has in common is an enthusiasm for writing.


orientation week Getting to know the FirstClass conferencing programme and your colleagues.
week 1 Don’t dread, Do! Demystifying ‘creative writing’, and 'shitty first drafts'.
week 2 Details matter! Keeping a journal and being a good liar!
week 3 Writing from life! The difference between fiction and reportage.
week 4 Getting the words right! Sounds and rhythm.
week 5 Conflict and skeleton stories! Beginning, middle and end.
week 6 Believable characters – who are they and where do they come from?
week 7 Alphabet story – and who said what?
week 8 Summing up – when are you finished?
week 9 Writing is easy, not writing is hard.




Edinburgh online school of creative writing