As if I didn’t have enough to do already, I signed up for the above-named class from the University of Iowa a couple of weeks ago. The class is now underway and I’m still trying to get a hang of the rather confusing website is on. I have succeeded in finding the classes, turning in the assignments but the discussion forum set up is still a bit bewildering. With all the things I have on my plate at the moment, life is a bit bewildering these days.
Anyway… The How Writers Right Section in 2015 MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is both making me feel quite accomplished and introducing me to some new terminology and ideas I hadn’t thought about before. So far, we’ve only covered creating characters really. Something – if you don’t mind me tooting my own horn a bit – I don’t think I really ever had a problem with.
I have to say that some of the people in the class with me (and there are so many it’s pretty much impossible to form friendships or network – especially since I’m still unable to figure out how to find people’s posts) and even some of the instruction is imbued with the unfortunately common idea that writing well is some mystical endeavor that is all about ART and “exploring the intricacies of the divergent melancholic humors with the pan-universal hunger for intrinsic worth and blah.”
Can anyone read that? I know what it means, but wide earth what I want to say it like that?
I’ve been an adult quite a long time now and, while I still struggle sometimes miss no low self-esteem and other negative moods, I’m pretty comfortable with who I am and what I can do and what I can’t do. When people start spouting that uber-educated verbiage, I used to feel rather uneducated and bland. These days, I’m reminded that purple prose the something were not supposed put in our writing and, therefore, probably not supposed to put in are talking either. Just because you know word doesn’t mean you should use it.
I suppose some people just think in “big words.” Do they realize that they are inaccessible to some people than? Is that their intention?
Back to this class I’m taking. I’m witnessing a fair amount of this kind of overblown word choice. I feel for the people for whom English is their second language and those who never got to college or for whom college is a distant memory.
In the end, I simply remain glad that I got over the “ooh check out my vocab skills” back when I was a teenager penning angst-ridden poetry on the porch roof. To some this may sound like the ranting of someone who doesn’t understand what’s going on feels left out. It’s not. I just like writing like a conversation, with rhythm and flow but no complicated, twiddly melodies being played just for the heck of it.
If you haven’t signed up for this course yet, I would suggest doing so. https://novoed.com/how-writers-write-fiction-2015/ There is still time to catch up and it really does good information so far. Were just on Week One.