The Worlds of R. A. Hortz
Judy Blume's MasterClass
||Judy Blume's MasterClass
Reviewed by Richard S. Rodgers - December 8, 2017
Disclaimer: **This review contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my affiliate links.
The Judy Blume MasterClass on Writing is a down-to-earth course on writing. The course focuses primarily on writing for children and young adults, but it also touches upon writing for an adult audience. Throughout the course, Blume uses her own treasure trove of published works as examples to spotlight the information she is sharing. She also provides some keen insights into her own career and her writing process.
Judy Blume's MasterClass is the second course that I've taken on MasterClass.com. The first class I did was James Patterson's MasterClass. While I enjoyed both courses, Blume's course, in my opinion, offers a great deal more concrete advice on 'how-to-write' than the Patterson course does. While I found Patterson's course interesting, he seemed to focus more on his own writing process rather than on providing information on the technique side of writing. In contrast, Blume's course not only gives you insights into writing process, but she also provides information on some of the fundamentals skills you need to master if you want to write fiction. Another difference is that while Patterson's course focuses on writing for adults, Blume's course is focused primarily on writing for children and young adults. Despite its focus on writing for juveniles, most of the information presented in this course applies equally to writing for an adult audience.
Some of the topics covered in Blume's course included how to find story ideas, tips on writing for different age groups, how to create realistic and memorable characters, how to write dialogue and how to stay true to how children actually speak. She also provides information about plotting your story and preparing your book for submission to a publisher or agent. Insights into dealing with rejection, planning your career, and working with editors is also touched upon. In all, a fairly detailed, albeit very basic, course on writing. Best of all, Blume comes across as an honest and sincere teacher who truly wants to help her 'students' learn, and is willing to help you learn by sharing not only her success, but also sharing information about her failures and insecurities.
Similar to other MasterClasses, Judy Blume's course includes a downloadable workbook that provides a brief overview of the information presented in the course, along with some assignments, supplemental material, and some suggestions for books to read. Blume does not 'grade' the assignments. Rather, if you desire, you can post them so that other students can read and comment on them.
As I mentioned in my previous review, MasterClass offers two payment options, you can sign up just for this one course for a fee of US$ 90, which gives you unlimited access to that one course. Or, for a fee of US$ 180, you can get a MasterClass All-Access Pass that give you access to all the courses offered by MasterClass - but only for a single year. This is the route I went with as they are currently offering six writing courses. The price is much more reasonable if you plan on taking a number of courses, and you can get them all done in a year. (If it matters, MasterClass DID NOT give me free access to the course. Hard-earned money was spent on the course!)
Overall, this course is what you make of it. I found Blume's lectures to be engrossing and encouraging, but the general information on 'how-to-write' is available in countless writing books that you could acquire at a fraction of the cost that this course costs. So is Judy Blume's MasterClass worth the price? I don't think so. I'd rather spend my money on books - or better yet - borrow them from the library. However, it all depends upon your learning style and how much disposable income you have. Whatever you decide, have fun learning and visit your local library and check out and read as many of Judy Blume's books as you can - you'll get a decent education just reading her books and analyzing her writing style.
James Patterson's MasterClass, reviewed by Richard S. Rodgers.
This is a review of the writing course that James Patterson's teaches on MasterClass. Quick take - I found it very interesting, but also overpriced for the limited amount of information that was presented.
Writing Young Adult Fiction for Dummies, by Deborah Halverson.
The basics of writing young adult fiction, from finding the time and place to write, to developing your narrative style, to getting your novel published.
The ABC's of Writing for Children, by Elizabeth Koehler-Pentacoff.
114 Children's Authors and Illustrators Talk About the Art, the Business, the Craft, & the Life of Writing Children's Literature.
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