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

4.7
2,003 ratings
645 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

MM

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.

LB

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.

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601 - 624 of 624 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot

By S. J W

Feb 27, 2016

Someone needs to review/proofread the final part and assignment. Many students were/are confused about the final assignment. Revise the video too.

By Timothy P

Jan 05, 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 Lu A K

Apr 11, 2016

The problem is that the only feedback a student gets is from other students. I only received 1 feedback from the supposedly 3 each week for 4 weeks. I gave 3 stars because the videos are very good and good concepts but I paid far more money than they now charge. So I doubt I will finish the certificate because the final course relies only on student feedback which is non-existent.

By Dena M

Apr 12, 2017

This course got better as it went on. The first week, the teacher went through the entire plot of Harry Potter which seemed like a waste of time. The point was made long before the telling of every plot point in Harry Potter was done. I thought, really, I signed up for four months of this? Then the lectures got better, learning the basis outlines and structures of plot is useful. Simple, but useful.

By ahmed i

Jan 17, 2017

it seems good and hopefully will be valuable in my context

By Megan S

Mar 01, 2018

I liked the writing exercises, but I felt the videos were a bit simple and Skyhorse was very pleasant but not a great interviewer. It would be nice if the assignment were reviewed by a professor or a TA or something. Peer review was overall NOT helpful.

By Lisa G

Oct 13, 2016

I understand the importance of reviewing other classmates work however with the time constraints of today's world, I believe it takes away from precious time that could be spent developing the craft of writing .

By Priya

Dec 22, 2016

it would have been great if the final assignment had been grade

By Mohammed A

Aug 18, 2016

Nice, informative, but basic and short.

By Annie D

Mar 25, 2016

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 SIbru

Nov 08, 2016

I learnt much but only rated 3 stars because students are unable to submit their assignments or receive peer group or mentor feedback unless a payment is made. The previous writing course I completed with Coursera did not have such restrictions - you only had to pay for the certificate if wanted. However, thank you for free access to the content

By Michel L

Jul 19, 2019

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 Noah S

Jul 30, 2019

The course was a good motivator to start writing and keep writing every week. The lectures were short and generic. Nothing other than the very basics. The peer review system works okay but it certainly isn't great.

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 Charlotte V

Sep 27, 2016

Very basic course with an extremely limited view on what makes a good plot.

By Elizabeth S

Nov 07, 2016

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

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 Paulo S

Mar 29, 2016

I hope the instructions were cleary and not too vague that it was open to many interpretation. An example would have helped and the rubrics/criteria for grading should have been shown beforehand so students would be guided what points they would consider when making their piece.

By Morgan

May 11, 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 Frank S

Dec 11, 2017

This course sucks and I am beginning to hate Coursera and everyone associated with it

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!

By Gitlin, M

Aug 01, 2019

I never received any feedback on my assignments. I have not gotten credit for submitting the final assignment. I see there are other people pleading for others to read their work as well. The instructors and videos give good ideas but there is no reason to pay for this course.

By Davis M

Jul 04, 2019

this is great course