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

4.7
stars
3,161 ratings
1,054 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

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.

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.

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826 - 850 of 1,034 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot

By Kajal B

Jun 08, 2017

This is a fantastic course especially when it comes to learning regarding the technicalities of plot and how to structure your plot in various ways. The best part of the course is it dares you to change your narrative style from passive to active, which could be quite difficult but is a great experience. The course is intriguing and instructions are clear with amazing examples. Not only did I learn to structure my plot and my story coherently, this course enabled me to acquire a deeper understanding of various texts that I read, which is fantastic!

By Susan

Oct 24, 2019

The course contains valuable essential information, clearly delivered. I appreciated having regular assignments and deadlines. I would have preferred that my work was reviewed by mentors, and not by peers. As students, we are all trying to learn as we go; and I could have benefited from more experienced guidance. I also wish there was a direct way to ask for content clarification, rather than the Discussion section. Perhaps there was, and I just didn't see it. Over all, the course was absolutely worth my time and I would recommend it.

By Gabriel L L d S

Jul 06, 2020

This is a very well crafted course! I enjoyed it a lot and now I'm more excited to keep going with the specialization. Also, Brando Skyhorse is such a nice teacher!

As other people have reviewed, I did miss professional feedback. I mean, I really enjoyed all the tips my peers gave me and I'm really grateful for them. However, professional feedback would be so helpful.

In summary, this course has helped me a lot to start developing the habit of writing and writing every draft better. Thank you so much for everyone involved in this amazing course! ;)

By Sampo B

Oct 14, 2016

This course is great for everyone interested in working on their writing skills, whether you're a beginner or more experienced. As a novice writer I learned about several useful tools that will help me improve my writing, got a lot more practice, and having a schedule helped me improve my daily routine for writing. For me the most valuable part was getting feedback and learning through analysing other people’s work. Oh, and just because the description says 1-2 hours of work per week doesn't mean you can't do a lot more!

By Elizabeth E

Feb 01, 2017

The exercises are good, and the material is clear. I really like that the students have to review each other's work. I found the feedback helpful, and I found reading other people's work helpful too. I really would like a teacher to grade me as well though. There were a couple of times that I wasn't certain that I fully understood what I was doing, so to have me grade someone else left me feeling unguided and unqualified to assign a grade. I believe I got feedback saying just that at least once.

By A.m.

Mar 24, 2016

Pretty good class; good information. The classmates are engaged and have good feedback to give.

I'm frustrated at the lack of instructor (or even staff presence) until at least week 3, when finally a staff member answered *one* of the many student questions that have been piling up.

Students are a great resource for critiquing work, but we can't help each other with technical questions, or with assignment clarifications. So there *definitely* needs to be staff on hand for that.

By Gabriel T

Apr 06, 2016

Brando did a great job in presenting a structure for plot. I think his insights are valuable and he did tried to offer practical guidelines writers can use.

What I didn't like was the reviewing of the assignments. Some times I didn't receive valuable feedback ( the same sentence copy/pasted in every section) and someone failed me for not understanding my intentions because he was not an English speaker.

Away from that, I really liked Brando, his style, and his involvement.

By Geoff N

Feb 09, 2017

The course itself has been really useful, although I'm not sure it has taught me much that is truly new. What It has done, though, is to fill in gaps, and to give me a big helping hand into understanding how to tackle what to write about. Beforehand, I suffered somewhat from blank canvas syndrome, but this course has given me ideas to get past that. The Coursera site and app could still do with some work, since collaboration with other students is not as easy as it could

By Tania R F

Nov 26, 2019

This was a very good course, but I struggled with it initially, as I felt I had somehow fallen into the deep end of the pool... and had a bit of trouble wrapping my head around some concepts.

This was my own experience of it, but I wonder if students could somehow be 'eased' into it a bit, with more basic concepts, and take off from there.

This is another course that I feel could extend to 6 weeks, or even 5.

The instructor was very good and passionate about his subject.

By Daniel R

Mar 23, 2019

I enjoyed this course and think the material and exercises helped me get going writing for the topic at hand. I think however, I'd like to get more valuable feedback sometimes. I don't think we have any control over it, but it felt that sometimes the peer feedback was just a one word answer. For example, when asked if a submission included "this" or "to identify pieces of the story", I felt most of the answers I saw were "yes". I'd like to get more helpful feedback.

By Melissa C

Mar 03, 2016

The content of the course is very useful and delivered in a structured and effective way. I enjoyed the writing assignments and feedback opportunities. My only complaint is that there are a great number of people auditing the course and we had to create our own google community to share and get feedback as the assignments and feedback sections of the course are locked for all of the non-paying students.

Other than that is was very enjoyable and informative.

By Jane D

Jul 16, 2019

The course was really helpful and cleared a lot of things for me, answered numerous questions I had had about the writing process. Additionally, it gave me lots of useful tips and tools to use in difficult situations.

The downside is the people who are supposed to give you feedback and do not really feel like it so they just leave the spaces for feedback with a letter or just give very short replies (some of the peers are very helpful though).

By Almira S H

Oct 10, 2018

I thought this course was excellent, it offered a lot of concrete ways to improve writing. I always like courses that can take abstract concepts especially in writing and break it down into lists and steps. I do wish that at least one of the assignments could be reviewed by the actual professor for feedback, rather than just peers. Some of the peer comments were very helpful, but others were just basic one word answers that didn't really help.

By Jorge C R C

Aug 04, 2020

The only reason I don't give it a 5-star rating is that I would like some kind of interaction with the mentor-professor of the course. Besides, there were a lot of foul play scenarios when expecting a review of my assignments: often received answers from students stating that they had reviewed my assignments but they actually didn't, tricking you into believing you were one step closer to achieve revisions, other than that, I love the course

By Kaveh V

Mar 06, 2016

While this course was interesting, it seemed very light. There was only about 10 or so minutes of 'content' a week, plus some interviews (which were very interesting, but didn't feel as though they taught too much). The assignments were all good except for the third one about the physical object. It was a weird prompt and not in a good way.

I would recommend this course, but I'd also love to see it expanded a bit.

By Sarah L

Sep 07, 2020

Get back to the basics with this course! An excellent foundation and a good reminder of what may have been learned in school many years ago. The work is only peer reviewed, so the feedback was hit and miss. Some of the co-learners lacked basic English language skills, so reading the material and feedback submitted was a bit more challenging. Overall, if you are looking to hone up your skills, take this class!

By Deleted A

Apr 11, 2019

This course was good for giving me ideas about how to write and develop a plot for writing. It was also good for connecting me with people who could read my writing and give feedback. I'm not sure that should be considered an actual full college course, but it was definitely helpful. I have more confidence now and I am currently taking the second course in the Creative Writing specialization.

By Siddharth G

Sep 18, 2018

It is well structured course, and allows students to have better understanding of the core concepts that play out in writing. Moreover, this course would be more helpful if they provide feedback tailored to each student's essay. While having students asses each other helps improve their writing style, the personal feedback from a professional can highlight points that other may have overlooked.

By Becky C

Aug 02, 2017

Great lectures; excellent springboard for crafting scenes and plots. Good practice with the concept of "show, don't tell." Peer review is a great way to keep cost down, but can be difficult because it's possible to finish the course so quickly. In the last two weeks it was difficult to find a peer reviewer and it seemed like many of the more skilled writers in the class had already moved on.

By Varun

Aug 07, 2019

The course helped me learn to apply some structure to my writing, which I felt I was lacking before. However, the motivation behind the rules that were set down in the lectures and assignments were not made clear, in my opinion. I would love to see more bad examples showcased, for instance, where the writer has flouted some/all rules of writing a good plot, and how it affects the reader.

By Umair N

Nov 07, 2017

This course was great, the coursework and professor included. The only thing that cost this course one start from me was that the peers are mostly not qualified for this type of work, and considering this is a peer graded course, if there are errors in your writing, maybe you should take a course on English grammar and vocabulary rather than an advanced creative writing specialization.

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 Rajorshi M

May 09, 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.