It seems easy at the start; give it a week or two and you will be very surprised -- with yourself and your reaction to the feedback.\n\nThe instructions are easy to follow, the insights are priceless.
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.
By mathieu j•
I thought that your courses were available for free if you were not looking for certificate.
By Frank S•
This course sucks and I am beginning to hate Coursera and everyone associated with it
By Benjamin W•
Signed up for Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot on a whim, not knowing the Coursera Platform or much about The Wesleyan Creative Writing Certificate Track.
I was ever in for a TREAT!
This has become the first step forward in my professional writing career. During the first course, I finished a 25-page Fan fiction manuscript. Quick disclaimer, I came with 3 of 7 chapters to the class. But used the four-module assignments to write and perfect the next 4 chapters of my Superman Fan Fiction story. I’m elated with what I have now.
I have decided to continue the track and I enjoy give peer reviews so I’m looking into creating a Coursera Account to apply to become a Coursera Mentor in an upcoming course.
Brando Skyhorse is absolutely wonderful to learn from and his lectures are all logical and easy to follow. You get what you put into this. Go ahead and apply yourself! And do the entire track!
By Erica R•
I thought this course was very good in breaking down the basics. I learned a lot of helpful information. I highly recommend it, especially for those new to the writing craft.
As a suggestion, it would have been helpful to know all assignments are peer reviewed. Meaning you are responsible for not only writing your homework, but critiquing 3 others as well. Some how I missed this in the course description. You are not done until your reviews are done, then you can move on. If you are like me and don't have the type of job where you can write or even view your course while working, this can be time consuming. Especially when the reviews you need to submit have a deadline. Sometimes it doesn't take much time. Other times writers submit a thesis when the assignment limit was 500 words. Those take much longer. If you are pressed for time, it can be quite frustrating.
By Christie Y•
This was the first Coursera course I tried and enjoyed it very much. I found the instruction very informative and practical. The writing exercises were helpful as far as forcing me to practice writing and exercise my creativity, which I don’t tend to do on my own. The only thing I was disappointed about is that I didn’t find other users’ feedback/reviews very helpful. I see the value in the process and understand that those individuals who may not yet have advanced writing (or English language) skills can improve those skills through feedback offered by users with better writing skills; however, it’s not really a two-way street. It would be nice if the platform could somehow be improved to ensure everyone benefits equally, such as by matching users by region and/or skill level (whether self-assigned or based on ratings assigned by other users over time).
By Michael H•
I audited this course after completing two books - a novel and a memoir - that were going nowhere and fast.In both cases I knew I had a great story to tell, but I was telling it poorly. After taking Brando's course, I believe the biggest weakness in each story was my failure to appreciate not only plot generally, but the finer points he discusses here: show, don't tell; the five-act story; the 21 points of editing, and so forth. I've read Stephen King's "On Writing," but too often have dismissed the valuable information therein. Brando's course, both his own teaching and the valuable interviews, I know will make me a better storyteller and, will help me write compelling, plot-driven stories. Whether or not this leads to me getting published - well, hopefully someday I can thank Brando in an "Acknowledgements" page :)
By Patricia H V R•
El curso en general, me hizo aportes muy valiosos que pude aplicar de manera práctica en los ejercicios académicos y creativos que realicé durante el proceso, los cuales me ayudarán mucho en mis producciones narrativas futuras. La metodología me pareció bastante buena, formativa y productiva.
Gracias al instructor, la Universidad y la Coursera, por este capítulo de conocimientos enriquecedores.
Patricia Helena Vélez.
The course in general, gave me very valuable contributions that I could apply in a practical way in the academic and creative exercises I did during the process, which will help me a lot in my future narrative productions. I found the methodology quite good, formative and productive.
Thanks to the instructor, the University and the Coursera, for this chapter of enriching knowledge.
By Erin H•
Thumbs up! I haven't taken a writing class at university before, but I've written a lot over the last few years - I'm a bit of a self-taught amateur. I was looking for guidance in growing my storytelling abilities. I thought this class was fantastic for that, and I feel that I have some more tools in my belt moving forward. Not only that, this class made me excited about writing! I enjoyed the interviews that Brando did with other teachers. Brando as a teacher is fantastic, he is clear and concise, and you can tell he is passionate about writing. On top of that, he has a lovely kind demeanour, which made the videos a pleasure to watch. I would recommend this course to anyone who is looking for tools to advance their writing. I'm looking forward to the next class in this series on Character!
The instruction is both brief, very practical and valuable. Assignments get right to the heart of the subject and developing essential skills. As the main instructor said, he worked on a book 18 years revising and reediting. It's great fortune to have access to his lessons learned and encouragement to meet the high standard of writing that makes for a readable/sellable book (not just something that gets published). I found the feedback from the three fellow writers who are t asked with reading and commenting on your samples in the course to be worthwhile. Students were generous with their time and tactful with feedback. It's a good way to be able to anonymously share writing and learn from each other. Great value if you're serious about improving your writing!
By Marian F•
A good course that I would recommend to everyone that want to follow a career in creative writing or to improve their passion.
It helped me to acknowledge things that you have to take in account when writing a book.I could not imagine some of this things when I was thinking about an action,and,how to put it on paper and sound good for the reader.
The assignments are very good and you can also complete them in audit only mode , but only for yourself , no one will revive you.
It`s not that easy to write something when you don`t know much things about the structures , how to build a character and so on , but , here you have everything you need and it`s free.
I finished the course in audit only mode but if you have the possibility to buy it , don`t hesitate.
By Vidhi D•
The course in itself is really great. The writing assignments were particularly enjoyable, and even though the lectures consisted of only the basics of good writing, they really did help me with improving my writing skills.
I do have a word or two about the peer reviewed assignments. I have reviewed more than 40 assignments in the time I spent completing the course, and a few assignments were shoddily completed. Moreover, many peers did not give fruitful feedback on assignments. Few gave feedback that gave more insight than "." or "yes". Furthermore, in one week I submitted my story well before the deadline, yet received my grade late.
Apart from the peer review system, I really had a great time with the course! Thank you for reading.
By Anuprava B•
As is repeatedly mentioned, the best part about this course is that it makes you think and get's you to start writing. The little points made (and advice's given) in the short lectures are useful. Like 'Show, don't tell', or the ABDCE structure. The fact that sometimes your developed character just does not want to do certain things and you should have the flexibility to do so. It is all very useful :) The only thing which I perhaps did not like was the quality of some reviews, which I felt were rushed. This is not the course Instructor's fault but maybe Coursera can find a better way to monitor it? Like perhaps flag the reviews that are half-heatedly done so that the author can get more serious reviews on their work.
By Timothy P•
While it was good to get me writing, I didn't feel like any of the exercises really challenged me to think differently about plot than I already did. They felt a little tacky, 'use these ten words in a story' felt like I was in elementary school again. The one assignment I liked was when we were given a scenario (a poisoning happens halfway through the writing and the main character has to choose between getting what they want and the antidote), I liked that and think those prompts help you really think about plot and how to work with it.
By Elizabeth S•
I couldn't take the instructor seriously. There were too many comparisons to Harry Potter and various three and five act formulas. I wanted something that would be practical and adaptable to the ideas that I'm working on. This just wasn't the right course for me. The assignments felt like they were pointless as well.
By Liz K•
Too prescriptive and prone to lists. "Do these 21 things when editing a novel". If that's what I was looking for, I could search the web for blogs. Maybe this was too beginner focused for me, but I'm not sure I learned anything really useful here.
By Charlotte V•
Very basic course with an extremely limited view on what makes a good plot.
By Betty A•
Course is a little formulaic, had trouble making my submissions follow the structure outlined but still, I learnt some useful tips and actually got to just write something orderly.
Liked some of the visiting speakers (the third speaker who talked about character - mature lady, dark hair) was quite good. So was the first gentleman.
Overall, the course is ok but given the strict methodology and requirements for writing, I don't know if I'll make it through the specialisation.
Thank you for reading!
Instructor had no idea what he was talking about in his examples. Misused examples routinely, didn't understand their structure or plot. It was like he hadn't even read the examples he was using, someone just gave him notes he was reading off. The other courses have good instructors, I can see why they didn't offer this guy a permanent teaching job.
By Lola J•
lame, plus they charged me even though I didn't want to pay for the certificate.
By Shraddha R•
Did not want to continue this course futher
By Davis M•
this is great course
By B E•
Excellent course material. Brandon Skyhorse is an excellent teacher. I truly enjoyed the work and progress I have made with my writings.
BEWARE! If you are paying for this course or the specialization that comes with four other courses. BEWARE! If you are visually impaired and have your laptop or computer set up for visually impaired. BEWARE! BEWARE! BEWARE!
The app nor the online through google chrome do not work well when set up for the visually impaired. Buttons you need to see and click disappear so that you have to click around in a dark blue banner and hope you can find the forum.
Your grade and your payments depend on other students. STUDENTS that you have no control over and no way to get them to do work. YOUR work MUST be reviewed by other students to receive your grade and for the charges to your credit card to stop.
So, if you are visually impaired and autistic and not interested in being 'study buddies' with people you do not know and will not ever meet, I suggest you only get the free class and forgo getting any specialization or certificates as you will not be able to find the forums to ask for help when you need them and your credit card will charged over and over until you get a student to do the work of reviewing your work.
By Sebastien M•
There was a lot of great information on this course, so I recommend taking notes. The only down side to this was there is no way of contending a zero mark from peers who do not have good English skills or even a knowledge of how to critique. I had a perfectly good piece which I spent a whole day on working out intricate rhetoric and correct structure, which failed. The peers who failed me said they could not understand the English and another could not recognise the literary form of lyrical narrative. I did, however, put together another piece in less than 5 minutes which passed.
I learnt a lot of great things though from all the professors and look forward to the other courses in the specialisation.
By Andrea H•
I really liked the contents and assignments of the course. It helped me improve my writing. Nevertheless, I think the way peer review is applied in this course needs to be reconsidered. Some people don't seem to take this very seriously or would need more examples of what helpful critiquing is supposed to look like. Unfortunately, this means one doesn't learn much from peer's feedback as quite a few people write just “good” instead of giving real feedback. It's not okay to be able to get a certificate if people don't really do the work that is necessary getting it. Also, it's quite a bummer if you have invested time to write a detailed feedback for someone and get “good” back.
By Nancy L l•
I enjoyed the course. The structure of the lessons was easy to follow and understand. The videos of such accomplished writers sharing valuable information was not only helpful but also entertaining.
I've wanted to try my hand at writing for many years. This was an affordable and effective way to do it from the remote Redwoods in California. Reviewing other learners work was more helpful than I had expected it to be. Perhaps the most difficult part of the module, I hope I was as helpful to others as they were to me. I will remember the ABDCE format and hopefully be able to apply it to all my writing in the future. Thank you Brando Skyhorse for you leadership.