Last week, my husband and I started a new MOOC, or massive open online course. We’re taking “The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture” from the Smithsonian through edX. For more on the class, check out the video below.
What am I hoping to learn from this class? Honey, one of the lecturers is Stan Lee. What am I not hoping to learn?
Seriously, this man knows what appeals to people. He may not get it right every time, but he’s gotten it right again and again. Much more often, I hazard to say, than you and I.
Through the class, we’re studying heroes and villains and that alone appeals to me. How many writing classes focus on the protagonist but ignore the antagonist completely?
There is also a section for writers. Although I’ve never tried writing a graphic novel, the thought appeals to me. I love the pared down form that leaves so much of the storytelling to the artist. I love the marriage between text and art. And I love the fast paced plots. I am a sucker for a story that moves.
I’m not 100% certain that I will ever write a graphic novel or that I will learn anything that will directly feed into my writing, but whenever I take one of these classes, it alters in subtle ways how I think about the world. That, if nothing else, comes through in my writing, keeping it sharp and fresh.
Why not look for a class on a topic that interests you?