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

4,744 ratings

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


Jul 13, 2020

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.

The instructions are easy to follow, the insights are priceless.


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.

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1301 - 1325 of 1,601 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot

By Dorothea A

May 23, 2017

As a new creative writer, I learned several new things and appreciated the clarity of the videos. However, I was disappointed that there was no instructor interaction. I understand these are enormous classes and perhaps I was expecting too much as this is my first experience with this type of course. Feedback from other writers was usually spot on and better as the class progressed.

By Namrota B

May 17, 2020

The Course material was really good and also the instructor. What was also excellent was the examples used throughout the course to make the student understand the material. Excellent course. I am giving four starts because, there needs to be a slight change in the review system as not all peers give out reviews properly and if that problem is fixed somehow, it will be a great course.

By Mariette S

Jan 30, 2022

I learned the most from the pre-recorded videos that clearly explained the components that make a good scene. I enjoyed reviewing other students' pieces, but wish that I had received more constructive criticism or a review by an instructor. Overall, having the specific assignment requirements and a deadline pushed me to write again, which I'm grateful for. I learned a lot. Thank You!

By Rajorshi M

May 9, 2018

This course should be taken by everyone to flex their creative muscles, because the inspiration to write may strike anytime, but not being able to transcribe those thoughts will wreak havoc in your psyche. This course has a lot of good discussions with a lot of pointers to improve one's current writing pattern, no matter the level.

Thanks Brando!

It was pleasure auditing this course.

By Amanda K

Apr 12, 2016

A good introductory course designed to be effective for people of a basic background and beginning skill level. As a course from Wesleyan I was hoping for something a little more robust or actually at a college-level, so I was a little disappointed at how rudimentary this course was. Still, I did learn some new things about plot and would recommend for the new or beginning writer.

By thomas b b

Jul 2, 2020

I very much enjoyed the guidance and video direction. However, I am not comfortable evaluating other writers, and I would like direct feedback from the instructor. Still, this exercise was much more valuable that the local writing conference I attended which was more trade show than collaborative experience. I will continue with this model for the rest of the program.

By Arianna V S

Apr 21, 2020

It's definitely a course that will give you a general idea and structure of several elements you include on your writing daily, but perhaps don't even notice. It's for sure helped me get a better grip on the base of plotting and organizing ideas. All in all, a fun, easy course to try if you're looking to better your writing and complement your technique with new methods!

By Kristina T

Jan 22, 2017

I really enjoyed the taped lectures and thought the assignments paired nicely. I'd like if Coursera set up a interactive element to the online learning environment such as a live chat with the instructor once a week and perhaps a live forum area with a set meeting time for the students. I've taken other online classes that have had these and found them extremely useful.

By Krista

May 23, 2017

The course is great, I've been meaning to learn how to write for ages and it's so easy with this course. Love the assignments and feel like it really pushes me to keep up the skills learned. The only thing I would wish for is comments from the organisers or even that we could see what was said about our texts as it's really hard to improve without proper feedback.

By Michele D

Jan 4, 2021

I just wish there was some review by the instructor(s) and hope that will happen with the capstone. While some of the peer reviewers were very helpful and gave constructive criticism, others answered the questions with one-word answers. Another said I had not followed the instructions although it was clear that I did as confirmed by the other two reviewers.

By Cedric J

Nov 22, 2023

A great course to grow as a writer. The assignments challenge you to improve and integrate what you've learned in the lectures. Unfortunately, a lot of peers don't give a lot of feedback, sometimes only responding to the feedback questions with one word. It is a shame because feedback is really what's most important to improve your storytelling skills.

By Andre A R G

Aug 9, 2021

Love this course. The lecturer has a different approach to creative writing. You'll really learn new techniques. However, peer graded assignments are not taken seriously. Some learners don't really read your work and spam unrelated feedback. Some pass mediocre work. They just want to "earn" the certificate the easy way. Hope Coursera filters them out.

By Eduardo C M

Mar 28, 2022

Just a note: English speaking peer reviewers do not make an effort to read papers written in other languages, even though using a translator is suggested.

One reviewer gave me a "zero" rating for my work and only wrote in his comments: "it is not written in English." I think that's unfair.

But despite that, the course content is excellent.

By Khari-Leigh M

Dec 3, 2020

I think it’s a great course as it has truly given me a lot of foundation knowledge and would recommend anyone to do it. My only downfall is that I do think the last two talks which are in Week 4 weren’t as substantially informative as the previous weeks, so maybe we could remove one and include another lecture there. Otherwise great stuff!

By Mike P

Nov 9, 2016

I think Skyhorse was very good. His instructions are clear. A little too heavy on Harry Potter references.

The theory on the 5 act helped frame the work. This class inspired me to take all 5 courses.

I wish is passion for writing would come thru a little stronger. It would also be nice to have more instructor feedback vs peer reviews.

By Michelle S

Jun 24, 2022

I learned so much from Brando's videos and the assignments. It pushed me to write and get a little uncomfortable, think of ways to be purposefully descriptive, and utilise effective structures. The feedback many other students provided me on my writing was so helpful and it has helped me grow as a creative writer. Thank you so much.

By Hala S

Apr 24, 2022

it's a good course. it was very useful for me. I just have one suggestion. I think that is very important that we receive feedback on our work from teachers not just our fellow students, I needed that so much, as the student feedback is usually very brief. So it's so important for writers to progress to receive feedback from teachers

By Ivelina H

Feb 1, 2021

The course is amazing! Brando Skyhorse explains everything perfectly! Our assignments are extremely interesting and challenging. I give 4 of 5 stars because I would've loved it if our assignments were reviewed by a professional writer as well. Some of the reviews I got were "yes" and "very good" which are not constructive criticism.

By John W

Oct 18, 2021

Feedback was hit and miss - I tried to provide detailed/actionable feedback, but not all reviewers did the same for me.

Although this module was "plot", not all the lessons were focused (lesson 4 was general revision/editing). More could have been made on creating structure, although the ABDCE is a very useful way of struturing.

By Kenton J M

Jul 30, 2021

The learning material and exercises in this course are engaging, provoking, and definitely got me writing! I wish the peer review process was a bit less cumbersome (waiting for work to review before proceeding), but it also helped to cement the intended learning of lesson when having to deduce the implementation in peer's work.

By Camille B

Jan 31, 2019

I learned a few things that I will definitely be using. The course was easy to follow and entertaining. The knowledge won't turn you into a great writer overnight but it is a good foundation. The requirements of the assignments were at times unclear but the process of reviewing your peers teaches the learner a lot. Good course.

By Sridhar I

Feb 27, 2017

I'd rate any course as 4+, at the end of which I can learn something tangible. This course introduced me to basic structure of story telling. The assignment was fun and the explanation was simple enough.

The best part was that the author explained concepts using Harry Potter and not some arcane book that I might not have read.

By Matt T

Nov 8, 2021

Very good lectures. I learned a lot. I enjoyed the assignments. The feedback I got from my peers was pretty minimal, and truthfully, most of the writing I reviewed was awful, so the feedback wouldn't have been relevant. I wish I could ask certain people to grade my work. People whose writing I have seen and appreciated.

By Monika C B

Feb 22, 2016

This is a very good course, but I would have expected transcripts of the talks as well. I have done a few coursera courses and the supplementary materials here are minimal. Also, in the week 4, it is confusing to have the video transcript in the assigment section - very unclear whether that's a part of the assigment or not.

By Dee C

Mar 27, 2022

I learned quite a bit. I do have a masters in creative writing, but I love taking different craft courses to refine my writing and become the best writer I can be. The assignments made me write outside my comfort zone and thing differently. I really enjoyed this part of the course. I look forward to the rest of them.