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Back to Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot

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

4.7
stars
3,295 ratings
1,100 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.

SD

Jul 14, 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.\n\nThe instructions are easy to follow, the insights are priceless.

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1026 - 1050 of 1,078 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot

By Norrarat S

Sep 26, 2017

good to know

By BAVISETTY V P

May 09, 2020

Good Course

By Deleted A

Oct 18, 2017

Pretty good

By ANUSHA C

Aug 31, 2020

good

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.

*numb-nuts

By Sarah S

Feb 29, 2016

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 Kyle M

Aug 17, 2020

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 David E G C

May 10, 2016

-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

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 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 John A

Apr 27, 2020

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 Leena K

Mar 28, 2019

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

Jul 13, 2020

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

Aug 18, 2020

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

Apr 03, 2019

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

Mar 12, 2016

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.

By Lin G

Apr 15, 2020

The only reason I’m giving this a three is the lack of community in the discussions, but other than that the course was great! Sure the assignments can get weird at times and the word count limit is just a whole other story, but the reviews I got from my peers once I finished them were really helpful! :)

Even if you want to just audit the course, go for it, If you’re lucky, some students will give some feedback for you.

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 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 Margaret E H

Jun 14, 2020

Many of the ideas taught in course are useful to consider when writing. It was challenging to write with such a focus on action and plot. Some of the explanations seemed oversimplified (using Harry Potter in numerous examples throughout the course) and some of the assignments were odd (you have to kill-off your protagonist in 2 out of the 4 assignments).

By Jeff

Jan 02, 2019

The lectures and prompts were excellent, but I didn't find the peer reviews to provide me any insightful feedback. I got mostly brief answers, and I feel peer reviews are the most advantageous way to grow as a writer. Perhaps add a way to grade peer reviews to ensure the proper effort is given?

Also, the mobile app is buggy and really could use an update.

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 Michelle

May 20, 2020

It was a fun course in many ways. The "Lectures" could hardly be called lectures really as they were so short. But, that said, they were info-packed so very useful. The size of MOOC's make them particularly fraught: so many participants come from non-English speaking backgrounds so reviewing other's works was actually very difficult at times.

By Chris R

Jan 01, 2017

The course material and videos are very good, however I would prefer that comments about your work be emailed directly to the student so that they are more likely to read them. I found it to easy to just move on and not really look for the comments on my work.

By Pauline R

May 22, 2016

I found this course quite hard to take to; especially after starting the second one on Character. Saying that though, it is good to learn about different perspectives and approaches as education whatever form enables us to move forward on our learning path.