Nov 4, 2019
The course was informative on how to build, structure and develop the plot of our own stories. It was also very helpful in guiding us through the editing process. A useful course for aspiring writers.
Nov 15, 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.
By Guilherme A F•
May 6, 2021
The content was great: simple yet practical. Of course it is only an introduction and anyone interested in creative writing should keep on practicing and studying. The only issue with the course is the avaliation system, where you're supposed to give/receive feedback from other students in order to be approved. Although it's a good idea, the absence of a mediator makes it kind of pointless, since most of the feedbacks turn out to be short, lazy answers instead of something actually useful.
By Daniel Y•
Jul 26, 2020
The videos were very entertaining and informative. The assignments gave structure to how one would write with restrictions that no beginner would think of using.
The other writers, however, served as a hindrance and a headache with only a few gems in the barrel of word soup. I could feel my craft deteriorating with every jungle of adverbs, sentence fragments and broken English. Most of my peers barely bothered to look at the instructions, and keep their stories under the word limit, forcing me to read several pages of verbal brain drilling.
I wasn't too bothered by it, until some delightful GENIUS* decided to make the submission section uncopyable. I could review several works, If there was a possibility to copy the submission to a word processor, segment it and highlight the errors. This saved my energy and sanity.
In the end, all I could manage were superficial peer-reviews, where I focused my effort to finding the biggest problem in the student's work and giving criticism on that.
Were you afraid that someone might copy and make profit from the <1000 word essays of amateur writers? Talk about professional suicide.
By Timothy P•
Jan 4, 2018
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 Yvette R•
Mar 31, 2021
The material is good in all the courses. The weakness is in the feedback, the crucial part of this course. This is true of all Coursera's writing courses. There are NO moderators, although it appears there are. Years ago, Coursera shifted from a cohort-structured (everyone starts and stops at the same time together) to a rolling enrollment model, where people can start anytime. I see the benefit to the latter, but in the former model, I was in a course with a number of students and we stayed together throughout the various modules of that course. We got to know each other's writings. We actually created learning groups within the class. It was amazing.
No one is checking in on the courses. That allows one to receive feedback that is actually nonexistent. For example, in one course, here is the feedback I receive
Yes that was the three sets of feedback I received for one assignment. All three students received credit for this feedback. It wasn't the first time I received the number "1" as feedback.
Now the rolling enrollment model means you rarely see the same writer's work which doesn't allow the writer to have a reader who watches them evolve and provides feedback in a meaningful way.
Many of the questions asked by the instructor in the feedback were close-ended questions which meant students could provide simply a yes or no responses.
I gained from reading the material. I rarely gained any meaningful feedback (maybe 20% of the time) even though the course tells us that feedback is the key aspect of this course.
By Patrick N•
Apr 5, 2021
I think I agree with most of the past comments about this course. It's an interesting introduction but lacking in real depth. Writing by numbers to make a sellable book was one comment. I was also disappointed in not getting feedback from more senior writers. Some of the writing you have to review is painful to read, not because it is written by non-native speakers but because the ideas aren't well developed. Still it is a useful course and I intend to complete it.
By Liz H•
Oct 24, 2016
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•
Sep 27, 2016
Very basic course with an extremely limited view on what makes a good plot.
By Nathan A L•
Jun 6, 2022
There is absolutely not logic to Coursera's websites. There are no instructions for how to access other student's assignments to review them. There are no instructions explaining why some students are able to link their assignment elsewhere for "anonymous" review. For a business that also has courses on simplying apps and websites, Coursera is a joke. Also, many of the transcriptions are so poor, they defy basic grammar and spelling rules that even a seven-year-old would catch. Either make proceeding through your courses simple and logical or continue to lose students like me who don't have an MIT computer science degree. Shame on Coursera!
By Betty A•
Jul 30, 2016
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!
By Kathleen B•
Jun 27, 2019
I completed my four assignments...I reviewed the work of others. Every time I log in I get a message that tells me I can finish in another two hours.... Finish what? I think I am finished, and can't find what more is required. I contacted Coursera. I chatted...the lady told me I was finished and that I would get a grade. I haven't gotten a grade.
So I'm out of here. I loved the coursework. It was excellent. I absolutely hate the website. Udemy works!
May 10, 2018
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 Derek S•
May 6, 2022
I thought that by paying for this course, there would have been at least some sort of tutor feedback, however minimal. But there is none whatsoever, only fellow students review your assignments. These people, with all due respect, are not professional writers/professors and therefore their opinions do not really carry any weight. Total rip-off.
By Song L•
Oct 27, 2020
I only wanted to try the course but was charged $49 and non refundable! as soon as I heard the instructor started to talk about Harry Potter I was not interested and wanted to quit. Why was I charged $49 and cannot unenroll, and found nowhere to contact Coursera for refund?! This is cheating.
By Helen C•
May 11, 2022
Plagiarism abounds! After giving much thought (and a good rating) to the first piece I peer reviewed, imagine my disappointment when the second piece was nearly identical to the first. And I've already submitted my own original work into this system, likely only to be copied by others.
By Lola J•
Jun 19, 2020
lame, plus they charged me even though I didn't want to pay for the certificate.
By Davis M•
Jul 4, 2019
this is great course
By Sebastien M•
Jul 21, 2017
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 Cynthia D•
Dec 21, 2020
I found the course very helpful. I hadn't taken a creative writing class since High School which was a very, very long time ago and felt I needed a refresher course to start writing fiction again. I balked at the idea of assignments at first but they were very helpful. Student feedback is mixed but for each assignment I was able to get one student reviewer who was very discerning and able to give me both encouragement AND constructive feedback.
I like the structure of the class. In each segment there are short lectures, demonstrations of what the principles and guest writers who are interviewed. The main instructor was very clear. I enjoyed the class and will likely take the other classes.
By Drea H•
Oct 21, 2020
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 Nlee L•
Oct 10, 2018
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.
By Nancy B•
Jul 20, 2020
The course is fabulous and the platform so easy to use. This is the first online course I've taken and I'm surprised how much information was packed into the videos. No time was wasted. Almost every sentence in the transcript of the narration was useful. The guest writers were interesting and their experiences in writing and their own "rules" made it almost feel as if I was in their company. The instructor, Mr. Skyhorse made me wish I had professors that good, and that relaxed, in college. Thanks go to all and to the digital people behind the scenes who made everything work so well even during a pandemic where I'm sure the usage was much higher. :)
By Alicia E•
Mar 14, 2020
Submitting assignments in this course was the first time I had ever put any story of mine on the internet for people to read. I had always been self-conscious of my work, but having the assignments as motivation really helped my push past this obstacle. Thank you!
The course has helped me organise my plots better. The structures outline in the modules are easy to understand, and the examples used are well-thought out.
The interviews were the most helpful. The discussions Brando had with the authors were insightful and filled with advice. As someone who still struggles with writing (despite loving it dearly), this was invaluable.
By Joseph S•
Oct 28, 2019
I find the videos of Professor Skyhorse to be well-done. In fact, I enjoyed going through them and listening to him talk. There were no difficulties on his part in delivering the material in an organized manner. However, I would have enjoyed getting feedback from the instructor or someone, who has worked closely with him. As students just learning creative writing coursework, none of us really know what we have produced meets the highest or above-average coursework. I would like to know more about the things that work and don't work now instead of learning that I have much to fix down the road.
By Christine W•
Sep 1, 2018
I got as much out of this class as I put into it, which is to say, I learned a lot. That being said, I also supplemented what I got out of the lectures with material that I found elsewhere on the web.
This is a really good starter class for creative writing and I would recommend it, but something has to be done about the lack of reviewers since whether learners pass or fail the class is based on those reviews. I'm not sure what the solution is but I do know that it is necessary to go ISO writing clubs on the web or real life with like-minded people seeking feedback on their work.
By Hope M V•
Jun 20, 2016
I am very much enjoying how my professor breaks everything down to the simplest form. I find myself applying what I have learned to my everyday writing as well as things I read and watch. He is upbeat and energetic and the assignments are fun! Although he asks for 200 words and I find that difficult because I am accustomed to writing a small novel for each answer, as you can clearly tell from my review of this course.
I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to begin writing or to writers who want a fundamental understanding of what they are already doing.