i got my instructor’s feedback on my last essay yesterday, and with that, this summer’s online writing class is complete. It was a great, challenging, growing experience. i’ve never taken a writing class before (or any online class), and i learned a ton. Here are a few highlights:
- Dangling modifiers are a thing. Don’t use them.
- No, seriously.
- Parallelism is also a thing, and i think i love it. Now to figure out how it works.
- i use more adjectives than i realized.
- Concrete description is harder than it appears.
- Some descriptive details contribute to the point i’m trying to make. Some details don’t. It’s a trick to figure out which is which, but it makes a big difference and will get easier with practice.
- There are good ways and bad ways to be concise and economic in my writing. “Show, don’t tell” applies here as it does everywhere.
- Intentionality in writing, as in anything, is huge. If i have an idea of what i want to say, and then make my sentences serve that goal, my writing will improve tremendously and have a greater impact on my readers.
- Criticism is okay, and probably better-intended than my broken brain tends to imagine. And it’s okay to admit that it’s hard.
- i have great friends.
- i can edit my own writing.
- i need to pay better attention to the world outside my head.
- i have good writerly skills and instincts, and i can totally improve my craft; my issues are “very fixable.”
- Literary fiction is not beyond my reach (even if it takes effort, practice, and intentional reading habits.)
My instructor said he’s working on putting together a “grammar for writers” class. It’ll cover dangling modifiers and parallelism both, and lots of other great things that probably exist despite my ignorance of them, and i can’t wait to discover it all and put it to work.