Amloki's picture
Amloki from Singapore is reading Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks September 6, 2012 - 6:01pm

After tearing my hair out since the last two days, I've finally taken the leap and signed up for Suzy Vitello's "Seductive Beginnings" class.

Having joined the site two days ago, this is a huge leap of faith for me. So far, members who've taken online classes have been kind enough to advise me the following:

1. Be regular, put in lots of time reading lectures and reviewing peers, and take notes.

2. Don't flake out.

I'm all for number 1 and can put in three to four hours a day throughout, but I'm going to flake out in the last week due to painful, but unavoidable family obligations.

I'm hoping for some words from the wise,(dos and don'ts if you like), from those who have already taken online classes in general, those who have taken Suzy Vitello's class in particular, and those who're going to be my classmates this time around.

Help.

.'s picture
. September 6, 2012 - 7:54pm

Expect magic. 

Like unicorns sliding down ice cream mountains. 

I mean hell, they should put that in the disclaimer.

Amloki's picture
Amloki from Singapore is reading Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks September 7, 2012 - 3:26am

Thankyou jacks_username. That's very helpful. I think.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. September 7, 2012 - 8:09am

Tough love and warm wishes.

.'s picture
. September 7, 2012 - 8:15am

Maybe these will help..

- Don't drop the class.

- Review all of your group's assignments.

- Finish every assignment.

- Ask the instructor LOTS of questions, she is paid to answer them and probably wouldn't mind.

- Take part in the conference call.

- Start thread discussions to keep the boards busy and interesting. 

- Print of the lectures and assignments and recommended reading.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. September 7, 2012 - 8:20am

TAKE NOTES!  Rewrite them in your own words.  Post those words on the forum.  Make your class discuss your ideas.  Don't post naked pictures of yourself on the internet (I think that's Brandon's advice, but I have failed to follow it at least twice since he said it).

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters September 7, 2012 - 9:21am

"Don't post naked pictures of yourself on the internet "

I think about that advice a lot. 

Meredith_103's picture
Meredith_103 September 7, 2012 - 9:43am

I am thinking about signing up for Suzy's class too. I've taken a couple of classes and every instructor has been great but as others have mentioned, the peer feedback can be hit or miss. Hmmm...tough choice.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. September 7, 2012 - 9:57am

If you can afford it (in both money and time), take it.  Suzy is amazing.  

Meredith_103's picture
Meredith_103 September 7, 2012 - 10:44am

Thanks, Bryan. I am leaning toward signing up. I guess if my peer group fizzles out again, Suzy's feedback will still make it worth the money.

Hector Acosta's picture
Hector Acosta from Dallas is reading Fletch September 7, 2012 - 11:00am

I have to ask, why would you take the class if you know you're going to flake out at the end?

Amloki's picture
Amloki from Singapore is reading Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks September 7, 2012 - 4:13pm

Thanks, Jack, that second list of advice was more like what I was looking for.

Bryanhowie, I will be taking notes.

Meredith, I've taken the leap, am waiting to see who would be my peers.

Hector, good question. That is what kept me agonizing over this decision. I can do 3-4 hours every day (or more) for the first five weeks, but the 6th week I have to be off. I've been told by folks who've taken classes before that if I put in a lot of effort in the 5 weeks, I can sort of make up for the missing sixth week by doing assignments and reading the lecture later--- and since I'm upfront about it, I'm hoping the instructor and the peers won't be so mad at me. I'm unsure though-- and that's part of the reason I''m jittery.

I'm working on my first novel, and have been told that Suzy is a great teacher to have at this stage-- so I've opted to give it my best and then hope for the best :).

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. September 8, 2012 - 10:42am

I read her critique of my Scare Us competition story, and I'm so mad I don't have any money for classes right now.  She's really good.

David Ireland's picture
David Ireland from London is reading Confessions of an English Opium-Eater September 8, 2012 - 11:51am

Come on people. Let's have a show of hands. Who's in?

I've got a new project ready to be kickstarted by this class. A sci-fi, messed up reality type novel. I've started writing in readiness. I'm hoping there's a bunch of enthusiastic writers already signed up. So step forward!

Bryanhowie. Dig deep!

Meredith_103's picture
Meredith_103 September 8, 2012 - 2:30pm

Okay--I'm in!!

drea's picture
drea from Rural Alberta, Canada is reading between the lines September 9, 2012 - 6:51am

Have fun, bitches! 

 

Amloki's picture
Amloki from Singapore is reading Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks September 12, 2012 - 4:46am

Thanks everyone! David, see you tomorrow in class? Merdith, hi, hope you signed up as well! Am looking forward to this!

David Ireland's picture
David Ireland from London is reading Confessions of an English Opium-Eater September 12, 2012 - 11:06am

Wow, tomorrow! That came around fast!

Yeah, see you in there. (And you, Meredith.) I'm really excited!

Anyone else sign up?

Amloki's picture
Amloki from Singapore is reading Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks September 12, 2012 - 4:48pm

Great David! I know I have at least one other novelist in there. Since I live in Singapore, my days would skip ahead a few hours earlier than those from the USA. This being my first lesson, I don't know what to expect or even what time it will formally start/ go up, and how.

Meredith_103's picture
Meredith_103 September 12, 2012 - 5:30pm

The class workspace should open up soon. I've taken a few classes on here and things usually start either the day of class or the night before with introductions. It won't be long now!!

Amloki's picture
Amloki from Singapore is reading Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks September 12, 2012 - 5:38pm

Thanks Meredith. I need to figure out how the time difference would figure things for me-- and if I would miss out on all the interactions cos I'm fast asleep when the Introductions and back and forth are happening :). Nice to meet you, and see you in class!

Meredith_103's picture
Meredith_103 September 12, 2012 - 5:52pm

The time difference shouldn't be a problem. I do most of my work at night...but people post and reply at all hours. Every class I've taken has had students outside of the U.S. and as long as you check in every day or two, it's very easy to stay involved. Looking forward to working with you!

Amloki's picture
Amloki from Singapore is reading Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks September 12, 2012 - 6:00pm

Ok, that's cool then. I'll be checking in a few times a day from now till 18th October. I'm away from 19th to the 25th, but will try checking in even then. I'm hoping to learn a lot from this class-- and am looking forward to working with you as well, Meredith-- I see that suspense is your genre of choice. I write mostly literary, myself, but for some reason have had crime and suspense creep into my novel.

Meredith_103's picture
Meredith_103 September 12, 2012 - 6:39pm

I'm sure we will all learn a lot. I've heard nothing but great things about Suzy. It should be fun. I have been writing suspense, but am trying to move closer to literary. It sounds like you and I will have some common interests based on our genre choices. I'm looking forward to reading your work. ...And trying to figure out which project of mine I want to focus on for the class. Tough choice.

Amloki's picture
Amloki from Singapore is reading Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks September 12, 2012 - 7:25pm

Yes, Meredith, sounds like our interests overlap, and I can learn from your feedback, and help you in whatever way I can. I have my novel in progress and the one that is stalled and about 20 short stories I need feedback on-- and I'm a little dizzy thinking about which to pick for feedback. I think my WIP would be the most ideal choice, but then I'm terrified my first draft will get stalled and I'll never pick up again. I've gone back to the first chapter and looked at it with an objective eye-- and though it is a first draft, it is a very sucky first draft.. mostly the throat clearing that happens when we first begin on a project. The whole chapter might need to go.

I've developed quite a thick skin for feedback, but I usually let it lie for a while before I work with it, and this time it would be pretty fast back and forth, I think. Don't know what to expect, and since it is 11.20 am in Singapore of the 13th September, am a little queasy about when the class would start. Talking to you helps, so, thank you.

Meredith_103's picture
Meredith_103 September 12, 2012 - 8:01pm

Glad to help. I wasn't sure what to expect from my first class but the feedback is so helpful that you just get wrapped up in everything before you know it. It actually is a lot of fun and the fast pace keeps you on your toes. The classes have helped me tremendously. Definitely worth the price of admission.

Amloki's picture
Amloki from Singapore is reading Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks September 12, 2012 - 8:08pm

I enjoy being kept on my toes. Once the class begins and I gauge what it involves, I'm considering taking a hiatus from my social media life in order to just write and review all day. Since I'm going to be away in the last week (I so wish I could avoid that hellhole trip, I so tried, but I can't and have to accept it), I also want to do more than my share of peer reviews, so I don't upset folks in the class too much.

David Ireland's picture
David Ireland from London is reading Confessions of an English Opium-Eater September 13, 2012 - 5:04am

Workspace not open yet. Amloki, you must be raring to go. You're half a day ahead of me (I'm in London). I bet you've been checking for hours :-)

Well I feel as ready as I can be. Ready for six weeks of writing and reviewing...

Amloki's picture
Amloki from Singapore is reading Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks September 13, 2012 - 5:35am

Yep, David, I've been checking every few hours. I'm winding up my day, it is 9.35 pm here. I don't feel ready, but then, I'm the sort who never feels ready for anything :).

Meredith here has been a voice of reason, and I'm not as doubtful about this class as I was this morning!

Know anyone else who's signed up?

Hector Acosta's picture
Hector Acosta from Dallas is reading Fletch September 13, 2012 - 6:40am

I hope that you guys keep updating this thread with your experiences. I'll be honest in saying that I've always been a bit hesitant/weary about this type of classes, so this thread would be be a great help in deciding whether a class would be for me or not.

And good luck to everyone!

M.E.Prince's picture
M.E.Prince from Georgia is reading En man som heter Ove September 13, 2012 - 6:44am

I'm signed up (as of several days ago). Really excited, so I've been checkin' for the classroom to open every half hour or so. It's my first class here, and paid for by my first freelancing gig, which feels pretty awesome.

Meredith_103's picture
Meredith_103 September 13, 2012 - 7:21am

@Hector--feel free to message me if you have any questions. I have taken several classes on LitReactor over the last year.

David Ireland's picture
David Ireland from London is reading Confessions of an English Opium-Eater September 13, 2012 - 7:26am

Hey M.E. Great news! See you inside!

Hector. I agree. Before I took the plunge, I searched the forums for some experiences, but didn't find much. I signed up quite worried it'd be a waste of money. I'll certainly post my thoughts here so others can make a more informed decision.

Amloki's picture
Amloki from Singapore is reading Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks September 13, 2012 - 4:04pm

M.E., already saw you inside :)-- it IS awesome that you're paying for this with your freelancing gig. I gave up freelancing a while ago to focus on fiction (it was one of the most agonising decisions of my life after earning my keep for 15 years)-- and I still have moments of regret.

Hector, this is my first class, and I joined the site only a week or so ago, so this was a big leap of faith. HUGE. I'm hoping is is worth it--  Meredith has been telling me it is, and I'm going to give it my best shot.

Amloki's picture
Amloki from Singapore is reading Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks October 4, 2012 - 8:16pm

3 weeks into the class, I'm just thrilled I took it. My classmates are all fab writers, and I'm learning not only from corrections of my work, but also of theirs.

I have to say that some of the best feedback on my work ever has come from Suzy. I've learnt how to take my writing apart and work it till it lives and breathes, and the best part is, she makes me enthusiastic about tearing my work apart, which few other teachers have been able to do.

The class is one of the reasons why I've taken a break from workshops here, but that should change soon.

I just had to drop by and say how life-changing this class could be for any aspiring writer! Thanks Drea for pushing me to do it!!

drea's picture
drea from Rural Alberta, Canada is reading between the lines October 5, 2012 - 9:37pm

This pleases me to no end, and not just because I told you so! I didn't realize Matt Pucci and Meredith were in there with you, too; hey are champion workshoppers and that always helps. I wish you could come to Wrdstock and the LitReactor meetup in Portland next week! 

Thanks for the update! (wow, I never use this many exclamation marks...)