I have to be honest. I missed the last week of this course, and it’s eating me up.
That being said, I really wanted to get my experience out there and share what I learned from the Darling Axe’s “Best-Laid Plans” workshop. It taught me a lot about the plotting process, but it also showed me something I needed to learn about myself.
I never expected to win this course. I have some luck when it comes to giveaways, but this was something I was really excited for. Not only because I’ve never taken a formal writing course, but also because, as a pantser, I lack some of the fundamentals of plotting.
And that’s really all I thought I was going to get out of it. A baseline for how to write better summaries to get my novel off on the right foot. I got a hell of a lot more out of it than that, however.
Who is this class for?
People who definitely need to take this class.
First and foremost, pantsers. If you’re someone who just wings your novel without a layout, then spends way too much time in the editing process, I highly recommend this class. Not only do you get great resources each week pertaining to what you’re working on, but the feedback people provide while you post helps you rethink the way you write your novel.
Now, if pantsing works for you, awesome, but if you’re looking for a change, look into this course.
The other group of people who should take this course are writers who need to learn how to take criticism and use it to refine their work. Many of the comments my fellow classmates made helped me not only work out kinks in my plot, but also showed me that not everyone is going to “get” the way you write your summary. You have to learn how to take their criticism and reword your work so it’s clearer next week. I spent a lot of time figuring out how to get my ideas across in a concise way so that my summary made the most sense to everyone reading it.
I was surprised how helpful this aspect was! Because I have a habit of short handing some of my ideas, I didn’t think about how it would read to someone else. Then when I put the whole idea on paper, I found that it might not make the most sense in the grand scheme of the story. And really I think this was the most helpful aspect about the course.
Personal mistakes I made with this course, that you could avoid.
Like I said before, I wasn’t able to complete the last week, and that was something that really bummed me out. I should’ve planned it out better, and that was my fault. I knew my husband was planning something for our anniversary, and I didn’t think to post my final week up before we went camping.
I also wish I had taken more time to read all of the resources provided to me. I often time overlooked some of them as I again, was not managing my time as well as I should’ve. I was too preoccupied with publications and an art contest (winner being featured soon) and I should’ve made time to read more.
If you’re going to take a course, you need to make the time each week to not only get your submission ready in case something comes up, but also utilize all the resources provided.
What needs work?
Constructive criticism on this course.
My only criticism on this class would have to be that, while it was great for me, it did feel a little bit like it was just a more organized writing group, not so much a “how to on plotting”. It reminded me a lot of a group I used to be a part of where every week we’d get together and talk out plotting problems, and while that’s exactly what I needed at this moment in my writing life, I can see how someone with a well developed writing group might not need this course.
Do you need this class?
This class isn’t for everyone. If you’re someone who has their plotting process down pat and/or a writing group that gives excellent constructive criticism, you might not need this course.
That being said if you’re someone like me, who needs more structure in your life, this class was definitely worth the investment. They also have other classes that I think many writers can benefit from. I’m considering signing up for their “Sharp Hook” course and have been definitely looking at their Developmental Editing services.
All in all, I’d recommend this group to my fellow writers and hope that y’all take the time to check out what they have to offer!