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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot by Wesleyan University

1,840 ratings
595 reviews

About the Course

In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to perhaps the most elemental and often the most challenging element of story: plot. We will learn what keeps it moving, how it manipulates our feelings, expectations, and desires. We will examine the choices storytellers make to snag our imaginations, drag them into a fictional world, and keep them there. We will learn how to outline and structure a plot, discuss narrative arc, pacing and reversals and reveal the inevitable surprise: connecting the beginning, middle and end....

Top reviews


Nov 16, 2018

Great information about plot and scene structure. The information about revision was entirely new to me - thank you! The exercises were good and difficult in a good way that helped me hone my writing.


Dec 01, 2016

Great course to take as the first step in the sequence of the "Creative Writing" certification. Exercises are fun, professor provides useful methodology, load is manageable for someone with a day job.

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1 - 25 of 580 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot

By Deleted A

Oct 13, 2017

Very little content. It is useful, but definitely not worth paying for it. Also, the exercises aren't truly exercises to practice what has been taught: just writing exercises with different lenghts, with a slight focus on what's been spoken about through the week. It looks like they wanted to make money from a minimum input, and that is disappointing.

By Bryan B

Jun 13, 2019

Great course for beginners. I must admit I was not sold at first with the peer graded review but seeing how seriously the great majority of students take the feedback portion of the course, I couldn't help but feel more motivated. I have learned to structure my ideas and tell a story properly using the least amount of words while keeping my readers interested. Highly recommendable for beginners.

By John L

Mar 25, 2019

I recently completed the 5-course specialization in creative writing. For the most part the course material presented was good, especially the courses on plot, on setting, and on style. The course on characterization was a little vague. From the syllabus, it looked like it would be a good course, but the instructor did not follow the syllabus and was often very unfocussed in her presentation.

The weakness with this specialization is that all the feedback to the writer is provided by peers in the course. This I found very disappointing. Many of the other students were honestly very poor writers, and as a result, the feedback I received on my assignments was very superficial. In addition, rather than being able to learn from reading the writing of others, I found for the most part that the pieces submitted by others were very lacking.

If you take this course, know that it will provide you some good information about writing fiction, but the feedback you receive on your assignments will not help you learn. You will need to find another peer group of writers to help you with that.

By Charles W

Mar 10, 2018

I don't see the point of having other writings who are at the same skill level as me critique my work. It's like the blind leading the blind. I was expecting a professional to grade my work to provide insight and direction. Total waste of my money.

By Cristina M

Feb 20, 2018

Assignments felt forced and incongruous with the weekly lessons. The assignments did not feel like an opportunity to practice the skills focused on in the lessons.

By Annabel B

May 05, 2017

I found the wording of the assignments really difficult to follow so I didn't really understand what was expected of me. I spend a lot of time (and therefore money!) on this course but in the end I made a conscious decision to stop. I was taking it for personal pleasure and it was not worth the stress each week of trying to work out what was being asked. I have taken a number of other courses in creative writing elsewhere, and other courses on Coursera - this is the first one I have actively chosen to stop because I just wasn't engaging with it - either for education or for enjoyment.

By Codi C

Mar 22, 2017

Auditing is pretty useless with how this class is updated. I can't get peer reviews so my assignments get zero feedback. Coursera didn't used to be like this.

Asked about how to be more involved in class discussions and peer reviews a couple days ago and haven't received feedback.

By jessica

Aug 09, 2016

The peer reviewed assignments are next to useless, as there is no oversight on them. I think there needs to be a basic comprehension assessment done first, before allowing fellow learners the ability to pass/fail students in the course.

By Leon P

Apr 02, 2016

Felt very much like an exercise in writing-by-numbers. Assignment instructions were too vague and the pass/fail grading system meant lots of classmates were upset that their work was not appreciated or understood. So many people on the course do not have English as a first language that the marking is often erratic. Great that non-native speakers are trying to write in English, enriching the canon, but in those circumstances a pass/fail system seems misguided.

By Ricardo P

Jun 16, 2019

Well presented lectures by Brando Skyhorse and useful assignments with prompts to make you exercise the concepts laid out by the instructor. This is the first time that I have done a Coursera course and I am pleasantly surprised at how satisfied I felt with the results. Thank you Brando, and thank you Coursera for allowing me to improve my creating writing skills from the comfort of my home.

By Hein M

Jun 11, 2019

I really enjoyed writing the assignments and connecting to students worldwide. I look forward to making more fun during the next course in the specialization.

By ipsita g

Jun 08, 2019

The course was structured well. It introduced to many things that were probably known to us but not explicit.

However, on taking other courses in the series I realized that the instructor is less effective and original than others, especially Amy.

By Davis M

May 28, 2019

this is great course


May 28, 2019

Fasntastic Course with Great Faculty... Thank you so much Brando Skyhorse Sir.

By Becky D

May 27, 2019

I found the lectures to be useful. However, the assignments were not always clearly communicated, and the peer feedback was inconsistent at times.

By Allen J

May 19, 2019

Being new, I felt that this course allowed for a basic education that included the needed skills.

By Marielba N

May 19, 2019

Very clear and you learn a lot

By Andrea R C

May 17, 2019

I enjoyed the lectures, but it can be challenging to peer-review others and to be peer-reviewed when there is such a huge range in terms of writing skill and/or English fluency in the class.

By LaShaunda C

May 13, 2019

It filled in a few of the blanks that I felt I was missing. I was able to collect resourceful notes to help throughout writing my first epic urban fantasy fiction novel book series and I recommend this course to anyone that wants to learn just a bit more about Plotting in Creative Writing.

By Kathrina C O

Apr 30, 2019

This was a fun class that explained why the plot works in popular literature while encouraging the student to apply the learned techniques to their own writing.

By sanika s

Apr 29, 2019

A great well detailed course with interesting assignments. It really got me writing, gave me constructive feedback and confidence in my writing style. The technicalities involved in creative writing were nicely explained in a fun way. Heartfelt thanks to the instructor and all the guest authors.

By Dominique S

Apr 26, 2019

This was a decent class. There was a lot of interviews with other writers which I felt took up a lot of the class and was a little unhelpful. But it was a pretty decent class. I learned from it the sequence of what belongs in a scene.

By Aneta D

Apr 24, 2019

Excelente XD. una informacion muy util y completa

By Carmen L B

Apr 24, 2019

I enjoyed focusing on the plot and learning how the structure presents the story.

By XiangSiyuan

Apr 19, 2019

I have learnt a lot.