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.
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 Rima A•
Its a wonderful course.
By Eternally P•
Very engaging course
By Norrarat S•
good to know
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By Daniel Y•
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 Justin S•
The course pursues an agenda more than teaching to inform or instruct. The topics are listed to the subjective agenda of the course creators, and the excuse given is that too many people signed up for the course, so, it has to be peer reviewed. Scientific papers are peer reviewed, for obvious reasons and in the most objective context. The only time creative writing should be peer reviewed is in pursuing a graduate degree and before a qualified degreed panel.
This method could be attributed to laziness on the part of the course creators, but based on the excuses given, it’s social engineering. For example, for the second writing assignment, the students should be given a choice on what they want to write about, so long as they meet the syntax criteria and for written grammar and creative writing. The ABDCE method is not the only method for creative writing
Further, most of the students doing the peer review do not have the qualifications a seasoned professional teacher or teacher’s assistant has. The review is subjective and not objective. Subjectivity is not the best nor a good standard for grading someone.
By Sarah S•
The videos are quite interesting, though I think they are overly committed to very specific techniques. I did not, however, find the assignments and peer review system very helpful. People had a tendency, particularly on the first assignment, to read in requirements that were not actually stated or written down and failed people accordingly. There also does not seem to be enough people to review all of the assignments, either--perhaps due to the paywall for assignments. The very nature of the peer review system also guarantees you see a real range on the individual criteria you are evaluated on and the depth of the review. This exacerbates the very harsh "0 or 1" point option for all assignments (i.e. either you get a 1 and pass or you get a 0 and fail).
Bottom line: I think the course materials are useful and at the very least interesting for developing writers, but I'm not sure it's worth the $79 entry fee to gain access to the peer review, unless you really need or want the course certificate.
By Cherie R•
Hello I have found the craft of plot very helpful, especially following the classic formula of ABDCE. It was very enjoyable to do the assignments that all fulfilled the points of each lesson. It was also enjoyable reviewing my fellow students' work. I learned a lot from their examples. However, the course did have weaknesses as well as the above strengths. I thought some of the guest appearances were not as interesting and informative as I initially hoped they would be. (However, the presenter was very good and spoke with clarity.) Finally, I have found it difficult to make my way around the web pages for each week. For example, now that I have finished the course, I can't seem to access my fellow students' assessment of my assignments. Very frustrating. I think overall Coursera needs to review its website from the point of view of the end users -- i.e. students!
By Kyle M•
The instruction part of it was ok, but the peer review aspect was severely flawed. Asking us to peer review items with people that are not native speakers and do not have a handle on sentence structure, meaning of words, grammar, etc. was difficult at best. I am convinced a lot wrote in their native language and then just used a translator software and called it good. I'm not knocking non-native English speakers taking the class. It had a lot of good information and they should absolutely benefit from the course. However, asking native speakers to grade their work is unfair. Out of the 12 that I was supposed to grade, 10 of them weren't native speakers. Frustrating ... especially when I had to wait weeks after the course to get my items peer-reviewed and wait to end the course ...
By Otto M•
Basically I'm satisfied. I gained some useful insights into building a plot for a story. The assignments forced me to think creatively within a well-defined and challenging set of requirements. Those were good exercises. I have booked the next package (Character Development).
EXTREMELY UNSATISFACTORY is the feedback from some other "students." Some feedback clearly came from real students who read my submission and offered constructive critical comments that directly addressed my submission. But too often the feedback was just a one-word comment: Yes, Good, Fine (never No, Bad or Poor). That is not feedback. I don't even believe it's real, in the sense that it comes from someone who actually read my submission. Coursera - this is something you can fix.
By David E G C•
-Made on 10/05/2016- Low quantity of information and resources. For the cost , is not even near to other moocs. Block the sending and sharing of activities, and unable the peer evaluation because of a required payment, really handicap the learning and the quality of the course. If I pay a Mooc, is becouse of a strong quality and substantial learning; this two lacking in this course. I can give you a list of other moocs around this and other subjects (film, writing, mat, entrepreneurship, photography...) for you to make relations and compare structures. Please revise this course, you have nice video edition and the teacher is good, and willing to teach, but the global course is missing several things. I encourage you to take my words.
By Annie D•
Overall, I sincerely think this course was useful to me. I did learn, and that is great. I got some good advice from the reviewers. And I appreciated most of the videos, especially the shop talks.
But I wish the instructor or his staff were more present in the discussion area, and I would have preferred a better written material. The transcripts are not formatted. They are completely raw and difficult to use.
Furthermore, I don't think it is normal that people duly registered to the class have difficulties to get their 3 reviews. Too many people have to ask for it in the forums.
In conclusion, a good course with good video material, but a lack of presence and organization.
By Michel L•
The lectures are pretty good, and the assignments as outlined in the course are good as well. My criticisms are: 1) No actual interaction with the instructors of course, as suspected of course, I suppose; 2) There don't seem to be enough moderators, because the concerns I've raised in the past (in one of the other courses in the specialization mainly) go unanswered; 3) coursera support are useless for anything nontechnical; 4) Peer review is no enforceable at all, and since (2) and (3) are limited, you're left begging on the discussion forums for more reviews as time passes by, i.e., as you inch closer towards paying for an extra month of the subscription.
By John A•
Hello. I enrolled in this course with the 7-day free trial. I found the lessons interesting and the writing exercises challenging. I did not continue, however, because I don't feel I was learning if I was learning. I liked reading others' work and being able to share an opinion about it, and I enjoyed the peer review feedback. But because there was no feedback from the instructors, I just never knew if I got the lesson right. One more thing, while the peer reviews include a section for comments directly to the writer under review, I never knew how to access them, so all the feedback I got was the short answers to the peer review questions.
By Carla D C M C•
I enjoyed the video ,tips and explanations by the instructor, but found that the assignments were too "cookie cutter" and didn't allow for much freedom of writing. Peer grading should NOT be the only assessment system in courses like this. For the most part, students are not getting proper feedback. Consider yourself lucky if you get decent constructive feedback from someone. It seems many enroll just for the sake of it and submit assignments that aren't even a full sentence. Some people have such poor English skills that there should be a screening test prior to enrolling any creative writing course!
By Leena K•
The course content I felt could be a little more in-depth.
This has just the basics. Also, reference reading matter should be given to understand each of the concepts the course talks about. Of course, the discussion forum is helpful as more matter seems to be available there through links. I particularly liked the assignments and deadlines. It made me follow the requirements and submit them and learn in the process. One cannot procrastinate. The peer assessments were good as well. I'm happy with the constructive feedback I received.
By Orlanda R F•
The prof's teaching was good, but zero chance to engage with him or a tutorial assistant. Some of the participating students' education or comprehension levels were not sufficient enough for them to be put in the position of grading other students which a course pass depends on. The format didn't allow for discussion with student graders who were really good, or whose comments were useful and that you might have wanted to actually have communication with, which would have made the course so much more enriching.
By Adelle W•
This is my first class. The discussion videos were very interesting. I did learn the ABCDE process and have found that very useful. Peer evaluations are very hard. I'm thinking that the purpose of the peer evaluation is to help the evaluator process the points taught in class. I do not think there is much help that comes to the writer as a result of these evaluations. I am hoping that there will be more effective feedback in future classes.
By Ignacio C•
Excellent content with a very close look to structure on writing. The four modules definitely create a new perspective of how to build a story. Some exercises need more feedback, a conversation with a mentor. This cannot be completed with the current dynamics. How can I know if my concept of scene was fully understood? How can I get more information about the scenes I builded on my homework. Just a space for this will make the course perfect.
By Maria J S d C G•
I did learn. However, some info could of been better explained. I felt like some videos didn't really further my knowledge. And the lack of communication on the discussions by the professor, was quite unbelievable. More participation by the professor would be appreciated. I do understand there's many people doing this, but if other can, why couldn't he? Maybe have an assistant?
Otherwise, like I said, I did learn a lot and I do appreciate it.