Mrs. Serbicki’s Creative Writing class is a must not only for those students interested in fiction and poetry, but for any student wanting to expand their writing horizons beyond the research paper (and have a great time while doing so!). As a writer, I fell into both categories. The main reason I signed up for this particular course, instead of the myriad others offered for homeschooled high school students, was the scope of subjects covered. The first semester was spent analyzing different elements of fiction, from characterization to dialogue to setting and beyond. The second semester delved into different types of fiction and storytelling, from point of view and tone to science fiction, poetry, realism, and drama. Covering both the elements and forms of fiction made it unique and well-rounded among the other online creative writing classes that I’ve seen.
While there was some variation in the structure, we read and discussed a famous piece of fiction one week and then worked on a related fiction project the next; while prompts were (thankfully) often provided, there was a lot of leeway to pursue our own ideas and plot lines! We also had weekly Skype chats which were wonderful for that jolt of inspiration – chatting with Mrs. Serbicki and classmates was a great way to free a writer’s block! Over the course of the year my favorite projects were the character study, the dialogue study, the speculative fiction assignment, and the poetry weeks. The most challenging to me were the setting study, the realist retelling of a classic fairytale/myth, and the drama assignment.
I feel that Mrs. Serbicki’s instruction helped me get past my fear of writing fiction – under her guidance I actually finished stories – and fine-tuned my narration and plot development, steering me away from melodrama into honest, engaging tales. I highly, highly recommend this class to any high school student interested in honing storytelling skills or just looking for a fun alternative to traditional English courses.
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