I really want to take this course, but have a question for anyone who's taken it already.
It's bad timing for me, and I may not be able to get my homework done one week. I could catch up later, but she looks pretty limber. Does she ever don a black ski mask and lower herself through your study ceiling by dark of night to check on your book map? Is the course structured in such a way that I wouldn't cause either Cheryl or other students a problem if I didn't quite keep up one week?
I took this course in the fall and highly recommend it. When I signed up, I thought I'd have a very rough draft of a new novel ready to work from, but that didn't pan out. I felt that my other novel was too far beyond a first draft to use for the class. So I wasn't in an ideal place book-wise and I almost backed out because of it. I worried about making a bad impression on Cheryl and not getting the full benefit of the course. I also worried about keeping up with the class since it fell over the holidays and I was going to be simultaneously finishing a revision request for an agent. HOWEVER, I stayed in and am so glad I did. (Although at that time it wasn't clear whether she'd offer the course again. If I'd known that I may have waited until this spring session.)
The lessons are presented as written outlines that you can read at your own leisure. Every week's lesson is available from the start so you could double up one week, or even read them all in one week if you wanted to. There is a discussion board for posting questions and Cheryl is very responsive, but she doesn't check up on you to make sure you're doing the work. She's also very clear about every writer being different and having different needs/methods that work best for them, and that you shouldn't feel like her plot and revision techniques are rules to be followed strictly. There are a lot of assignments that come with the class and it can feel like a lot of busywork, but again she emphasizes that everything is meant to be a helpful tool and she doesn't check to make sure people are keeping up.
I fell behind in the class as I was afraid I would, but I still found it tremendously helpful. I've saved all her lectures and took notes on the discussions. The assignments that I've completed were incredibly enlightening. I plan to reference the materials when I do have that first draft ready to work from.
I will also add that I have two friends who took the course who had recently finished first drafts and were preparing for revisions--exactly the place Cheryl recommends you should be in when you take the course. As helpful as I found the class, I think they both found it leaps and bounds MORE helpful because it gave them immediate guidance and inspiration for their projects at hand. A path forward to forge through their revisions. (Although I know one friend also found the workload overwhelming and intimidating.)
If you've read and like her book SECOND SIGHT, you will definitely like the class. And if you're not able to take the class and haven't read SECOND SIGHT, definitely read her book!