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Creative writing is something everyone’s tried with varying success. But anyone who’s serious about it knows it’s a trickier endeavor than meets the eye. With The Creative Writing Course Bundle, you can gain insights on how to make your writing shine and get it out for the world to see.

This five-course bundle, priced at $39.99 on StackSocial, contains over 200 lessons on the strategies behind creative writing, fantasy writing, novel writing, self-publishing and even calligraphy. The courses are primarily text-based, organized like very in-depth tutorials. And while the calligraphy course is more of an art class, every lesson is packed with techniques and concrete advice. We took a hands-on look at each of the courses in this bundle, and you can read about our experience below.

Here’s how these courses work

As we mentioned, these courses consist of text-based lessons that are all hosted on a site. The only exception is Calligraphy Diploma, which includes eight video demonstrations. Every course is organized into broad modules ending with assessments. The modules are in turn made up of sections covering specific topics, like “legal considerations” in the self-publishing course. If you’re craving to discuss with other learners, each course has its own password-protecting Facebook study group to do just that. And there’s no rush to work through these lessons. Once you buy the bundle, it’s yours for life to access anytime, any place.

Creative Writing Diploma

Benjamin Levin/CNN

What better course to start with than the Creative Writing Diploma? This one is divided up into 14 modules and spans a wide array of topics. It covers defining the creative process all the way to tips for going public. There are modules focused more on advice, like “Beating Writer’s Block,” and then there are those like “Character Motivation” that really get into the nitty-gritty of creating your best work and drawing interest from the reader. There are even modules on poetry later in the course.

Aside from succinctly explaining concepts, we loved how well this course exemplifies what it’s trying to teach. In the “Characteristics” lesson, we were taught how to create a comprehensive character profile, fit with things like physical descriptions, personality and motivation. And at the end of the lesson we were treated to two fully fleshed-out profiles. An example can go a long way, and we found several in just about every lesson.

If you’re not sure where to start with your creative writing, be it poetry, fiction or otherwise, we recommend checking out this course first. To us, it felt like a trove of information that’ll help you get your piece going in a major way.

Successful Self-Publishing Diploma

Benjamin Levin/CNN

If you’re not too keen on the traditional publishing process, this seven-module bundle is the one for you. And as we learned, the purpose is not to convince you to self-publish. Rather, this course starts out by weighing the pros and cons of self-publishing. It also goes into detail about some common reasons for doing so, like your story being particularly niche, or doing so because you tried and failed in the past. Once these valuable discussions are out of the way, the lessons concentrate on the steps you should take to prepare and distribute your work.

This course is concrete in the best of ways. There’s an abundance of lessons dedicated to preparing your work for publishing. Did you use a grammar and spell-checking program to check your work? Do you have beta readers in mind? What size and layout will your pages be? The final lessons then delve into methods and techniques for the production, distribution and marketing of your piece — vital factors that we suspect self-publishers may often overlook.

Self-publishing isn’t an easy road, but we think this course is an awesome place to start. It’s full of technical details and advice that we didn’t even know were part of the process.

Fantasy Writing Diploma

Benjamin Levin/CNN

When we saw fantasy writing, we knew we were going to have a good time. This course consists of 10 modules on the nature of fantasy writing and the creation of your fantasy setting. The genre is especially tricky because you may have to build your own world and culture, and there are a host of clichés to which many fantasies fall prey. Luckily, all of this and more is covered in the course.

We wanted to highlight the modules relating to world-building and character creation. Not only were the lessons informative and in-depth, but they were fun too. There is so much to consider, like societal constructs (and magic) that govern your fantasy civilizations to the borders and architecture that make up the settings within. And like the other lessons in this bundle, there are plenty of examples, like a well-defined list of political structures that you can choose from in the “Societal Constructs” lesson.

Fantasy writing can be a ton of fun, but it can require more work in comparison to other genres. We believe this course will definitely get you off on the right foot.

Bottom line

If there’s anything this hands-on experience taught us, it’s that we had a lot to learn about writing and publishing, not to mention calligraphy. Anyone interested in entering the field, be it for a hobby or a living, should absolutely look into this bundle.

The Creative Writing Course Bundle is available on StackSocial for $33.99.