Creative Writing 101

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  • 15
  • 43
    Exams &
  • 2,337
    have taken this course
  • 19
    average time
  • 1.9

Course Description

'Creative Writing 101' is an attempt to capture what cannot be held in hand or thought--the elusive riddle of human creativity as we find it in our writing. Here we look at various forms and genres (books, dramas and plays, poetry, essays, film-writing, stories in general, etc.) as they relate to the creative impulse.

We also talk about the Writer's Voice and personality, writing as therapy, illusions about writing, legend and mythos, and other areas where a creative writer may find inspiration, advice or enlightening conjecture. This self-paced course is offered to writers everywhere with hat-in-hand, for what it may be worth. Test and review questions, and also lesson exercises are included at the end of each lesson to build mastery.

What is that something? Anyone who knew would be the world's greatest living author. The search, though, is half the fun, and that is really what we are presenting here. Your artistic capacities are not illusions or mere ego. Whether you are a beginner or a professional, your artistic talent is a gift of your human nature, just like your smile, the way you walk, and things like your ability with math or your knack for a musical instrument. Our passage on Earth is short. To seek and find that something within yourself that we call "creativity" is to link with the Divine, the ultimate Creator if you are religious. So maybe there is something there.

Creativity is important in so many areas of life. Sometimes, when we are creative outside of the norm, such as making the choice to rob a bank, our inventive ways are disastrous. A child might mix some household chemicals just to see what happens, and right before the kitchen explodes, the child's mother snatches the dangerous combination away with a sigh of relief. On the other hand, it also is true that throughout the long story of humankind, our curiosity, our necessity and innate ability to dream, and our vision of things unformed and shapeless has saved us from many troubles and improved the quality of life for billions. That is creativity, too.

What do you need to know about creativity in your writing? Certainly, most writers will not even begin to write their first story without a gentle inner urging of some kind. We read, and we enjoy reading; so we already have ideas about the written works we love: the characteristics that make them superior, that give us a thrill, that we see as creative.
A phone book can be a creative endeavor. The people who put these books together have dozens of choices to make, each a creative selection for the way the phone book is laid out. For example, they must choose the font style and size of print, what names will be included, and whether to put the business section ahead of or behind the residential section. Then there are all those glorious and colorful advertisements. An actor like Al Pacino can pick up the same phone book and read through it with as much passion and elocution as though he were reading a great Shakespearean theatrical work. That is creative.
What you need to know about your own creative process in your creative writing you probably already know and may never be able to learn from a course like this one.

So we nurture this precious flame. We hold it dear, we coddle and cajole, we muse. We protect our creativity, give it health, and encourage ourselves as we choose. Encouragement is something writers need perhaps more than other artists because, unlike a dance, song, or sculpture, written works require time and effort to be read. They have to be printed or published in some way, and your artistic feedback loop is considerably different from that of Al Pacino, who gets his warm fuzzies from a full-house audience applauding wildly when he performs on stage. It can take years of work before anyone, anywhere, even acknowledges that you are, in fact, a writer of some kind. But that flame, so bright and urgent in compassionate love, creates an urge to put words to paper that you just cannot resist.

How do we nurture creativity? Knocking yourself on the head is one way that works for a majority of serious writers. Seriously, however, we are talking about a mental process, something even the Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, admits he does not understand. Great mystics of the past, including Saint Francis of Assisi, Mahatma Gandhi, and various yogis, gurus, and Brahmans, do not understand it, either. It is much more like nurturing your whole person, your entire being, your whole view of life or way of participating in things going on. It is not pulling creativity itself out of a secret place, taking a quick look at it, analyzing it to death, and then expecting it to still function in the way we want. It really cannot be known, and in a sense it really does not even belong to you. Nurturing creativity in writing is nurturing yourself and your own sacred inner life.

Thus we see that striving to be creative has value. It makes you feel good to be creative; it makes other people feel good. It improves your health. It makes you smile. Maybe it makes you rich, who knows? It can make you popular and great in romantic relationships, or, like the kid in the kitchen with the chemicals, it can blow up in your face.
Take heed as you link your feeble mind to that of the Divine: It is a long way down from some of those creative highs, and more than one author has found his or her way to the local mental hospital by way of that same innate, passionate creativity. Maybe you just want to drive your readers crazy or your spouse crazy with all that keyboard pecking. It makes such an awful sound, hour after hour. Click-clickity-clack, on and on.

Here is a creative description of that: It is funny that they call it typing when in fact it is mostly writing that is happening. One could call it highly organized, alphabet peck-work. Twenty-six letters to infinity; you have to be pretty creative to get an art form out of that. In the realm of ideas, though, innovation is not a fraud. It is the flow of life and movement and "beingness" happening constantly to every one of us alive. It is thesis, antithesis, synthesis, and recombining reality with words into something new for yourself and others.

What is creative writing? In a word: fun!

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
  • Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

    Course Lessons

    Average Lesson Rating:
    4.6 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
    "Extraordinarily Helpful"
    (2,022 votes)

    Lesson 1: Personal Creativity in Writing

    This lesson will answer the question: "Why do I care about personal creativity in my writing?" 28 Total Points
    • Lesson 1 Video
    • Take Survey: Reasons for Taking this Course
    • Complete Assignment: Introductions
    • Complete Assignment: Lesson 1 Creativity in Writing
    • Complete: Lesson 1 Exam

    Lesson 2: Various Written Forms and Creative Flow

    This lesson explores the different kind of writing forms, including comedy, essays, and fiction. 27 Total Points
    • Lesson 2 Video
    • Review 2 Articles: Enter the World of Creative Writing; Forms of Writing
    • Complete Assignment: Lesson 2 Creative Forms of Writing
    • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam

    Lesson 3: Thoughts of Writing Poetry

    This lesson describes the history of poetry and its various forms. 145 Total Points
    • Lesson 3 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment A
    • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment B
    • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment C
    • Complete: Lesson 3 Exam

    Lesson 4: Easy Essays for Creative Happiness

    This lesson deals with understanding how to write a basic essay. 90 Total Points
    • Lesson 4 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment A
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment B
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 4

    Lesson 5: Stories and Fiction in General

    This lesson describes how to be a creative fiction writer. 79 Total Points
    • Lesson 5 Video
    • Complete Assignment: Lesson 5 Stories and Fictions
    • Complete: Assignment 5A
    • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam

    Lesson 6: Dramatic Forms

    This lesson describes how to write fictional dramas and adventures. 104 Total Points
    • Lesson 6 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment A
    • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment B
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 6

    Lesson 7: The Novel Novelist

    This lesson describes some of the factors that go into writing a novel. 109 Total Points
    • Lesson 7 Video
    • Review Article: Novel Writing Help
    • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment A
    • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment B
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 7

    Lesson 8: Write What You Know, and Admit You Know Nothing

    This lesson examines why it might be a better idea to become a specialist writer instead of writing about things you know nothing about. 92 Total Points
    • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment A
    • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment B
    • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam

    Lesson 9: Your Personality as a Writer

    This lesson explains how to assert your own personality into your writing. 8 Total Points
    • Lesson 9 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam

    Lesson 10: Creative Writing as Therapy

    This lesson explains how writing can be as beneficial as therapy in many situations. 74 Total Points
    • Lesson 10 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment A
    • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment B
    • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment C
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 10

    Lesson 11: The Ghost in the Wishing Well: Illusions and False Ideas About Creative Writing

    This lesson explains how to separate your ego from your writing, and what to do about writer's block. 41 Total Points
    • Lesson 11 Video
    • Review 2 Articles: Overcoming Writer's Block; The Adverb is Not Your Friend: Stephen King
    • Complete Assignment: Lesson 11 False Ideas About Writing
    • Complete: Lesson 11 Exam

    Lesson 12: Culinary Arts as Allegory for the Writer

    The similarities between a creative chef and a creative writer. 77 Total Points
    • Lesson 12 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment A
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 12

    Lesson 13: Writing to Please Others or Yourself?

    This lesson explains why it is important to write for yourself first. 62 Total Points
    • Lesson 13 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment A
    • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment B
    • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment C
    • Complete Exam: Lesson 13

    Lesson 14: From Eternity to You

    The art of being creative. 39 Total Points
    • Lesson 14 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 14 Assignment
    • Complete: Lesson 14 Exam

    Lesson 15: The Impossible Task of Words

    The importance of the written word. 69 Total Points
    • Lesson 15 Video
    • Take Poll: End of Course Poll
    • Take Survey: Course Comments
    • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
    • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment A
    • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment B
    • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment C: Final Assignment
    • Complete: Lesson 15 Final Exam
    Total Course Points

    Learning Outcomes

    By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
    • Define ways to develop personal creativity in writing.
    • Describe various written forms and define the creative flow.
    • Demonstrate creativity through easy essays.
    • Describe dramatic forms.
    • Demonstrate your personality in your writing.
    • Compare and contrast writing a novel versus writing a short story.
    • Describe how writing can be therapeutic, and
    • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

    Additional Course Information

    Online CEU Certificate
    • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
    • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
    • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
    • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
    • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
    Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
    Course Title: Creative Writing 101
    Course Number: 9770546
    Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
    Lessons Rating: 4.6 / 5 Stars (2,022 votes)
    Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
    Course Type: Undergraduate (Self-Paced, Online Class)
    CEU Value: 1.9 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
    CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
    Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
    Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
    Instructor: Dana Kristan
    Syllabus: View Syllabus
    Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
    Course Fee: $65.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $90.00

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    Student Testimonials

    • "The assignments have seemed so hard. But so good! They are the kind that makes the creative juices flow. I can't get over how much I have learned, and I haven't completed the course yet." -- Iris W.
    • "I thought the written information at the beginning of each lesson was great!...I appreciated every comment the instructor provided. Thanks." -- Patricia H.
    • "I found all parts of this course useful." -- Ragini S.

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