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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description by Wesleyan University

4.7
stars
1,178 ratings
370 reviews

About the Course

In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to the techniques that masters of fiction use to ground a story in a concrete world. From the most realist settings to the most fantastical, writers will learn how to describe the physical world in sharp, sensory detail. We will also learn how to build credibility through research, and to use creative meditation exercises to deepen our own understanding of our story worlds, so that our readers can see all that we imagine....

Top reviews

EG
Jul 1, 2020

Great course, it taught me things that I would have never learned otherwise, in this course you must take your time, don't rush, because if you do you will miss the most important points of the curse.

AM
Jan 19, 2021

This was such a wonderful course. I got to learn a lot about strange lands, imaginative description etc. Generally how to set my world and describe it in a convincing manner. I totally recommend it.

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26 - 50 of 362 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description

By Charles T

Aug 2, 2017

This is the third course in the specialization. While I have enjoyed all three modules, I learned the most from this one.

The first three weeks are very effectively focused on the course theme, setting and description--why it is an essential component of story-telling, what constitutes significant detail, and how to "research" to find the detail to include. The videos in the final week (on genre and historical fiction) wander a bit from the central theme, but are certainly relevant to issues of setting and description.

The four exercises are interesting and challenging. In addition, they are nicely varied and all clearly related to the theme.

Amity is a wonderful lecturer and interviewer, and I look forward to reading some of her work.

By Jacqueline G L

Oct 29, 2020

Of the three courses I've done so far, this was the most challenging. The assignments had me introspecting on past experiences. I've realized that setting and description is my area of weakness in creative writing and this course showed me how weak I was. But I tried my best and the comments that I got during the per reviews were encouraging. I think having a review from an experienced writer would boost a student's confidence tremendously, so could the creator of the programme please consider it. The tutor, Amity Gaige, did an amazing job leading through the four sessions; she was a tremendous help in preparing us for our weekly assignments. Kudos to you, Amity Gaige.

By Srishti M

Oct 17, 2019

I think it was a wonderful course. Totally worth any writer's time! The instructor is amazing and, the assignments and peer reviews really give an opportunity to the writer to hon their skills! I, personally, was motivated to regularly write and work on my drafts because the video lectures helped me identify a lot of my areas of development. This is my favorite course of this specialization (and craft of style as well). Everything that the instructors talk about in these courses is very practical when it comes to writing fiction. I can certainly vouch for the fact that after taking these courses, I have improved as a writer. What better can one ask for!

By Annette B

Mar 13, 2016

Great follow-up course to "The Craft of Plot." As a side note, those auditing this creative writing series from Wesleyan University must choose one of their paid routes of they desire to turn in assignments and get feedback from classmates. I guess this is the new course structure for specialized topics on the Coursera platform. The inability to turn in assignments was of little concern to me, but it may disappoint some, so I thought I'd mention it. Otherwise, at the very least, you'll have a firmer understanding and appreciation for crafting detailed settings and descriptions after auditing this course.

By Ricardo P

Jul 11, 2019

Out of all of the five courses for Creative Writing, this is my favorite one. Amity Gaige teaches how to use the five senses to describe a physical location in your story. She gives in-depth advice on creating rich descriptive locales by teaching you how to make a reader 'experience' your world through sensuous writing. After learning how to craft a plot and build a character, the next step is to immerse the reader into your world and story. This course teaches you how to do exactly that. I found it very insightful. Thank you, Amity, and thank you Coursera.

By Didimo E G T

Nov 12, 2020

Great course and well taught. This is the 3rd course I finish from the Creative Writing Specialization. My writing has greatly improved as well as my ability to do peer reviews with meaningful observations and critique which I have put into practice in Writing Your First Novel as well (that course is more of a capstone than a real course though). I STRONGLY recommend this specialization by Wesleyan. I only wish the staff was more involved with the course rather than leaving it as passive income. Congratulations to the instructor on her latest novel.

By Sara C H J

May 30, 2020

Sophisticated, enlightening, and very helpful are some of the words with which I can describe this course. I used to dislike having to describe so much, but now I have an insight of what to describe and how to describe only what matters to the story.

Amity Gaige is an amazing instructor, and it's impossible not to be engaged with all her activities. I loved the readings which she sent us to do and which amplified our view of the setting in whatever you want to write about.

Thank you so much for her and Coursera for offering me this opportunity!

By Alice H

Apr 26, 2017

I really enjoyed Amity's style of teaching for this course on The Craft of Setting and Description. Her instruction, examples, and general style of teaching was very well thought-out, deliberate, and specific. One of my weaknesses as a writer, I believe, is around setting and integrating exposition but in a showing way. These exercises were helpful, I had hoped that the feedback from my peers would be more helpful. Some feedback was great, but some was too superficial (did they read it?) or too harsh (wanting to boast their own expertise).

By Jing X

Jul 1, 2019

It is a wonderful course with challenges to me as a beginning writers, and many takeaways in the assignments. The instructor not only shared lots of knowledge/skills of writing as a professional fiction writer with 5 senses, but also via the workshop chat to reveal personal tips of other productive writers. I feel I gain more knowledge, writing skills, as well as confidence to keep writing towards the capstone project, and to be enrolled in next course of this great Creative Writing

By adriene j

Jan 31, 2018

Gaige is engaging!! Always looked forward to her lectures, her insight, her guests, her analyses and her assignments. The one that was the toughest me turned out to be my best work. The student critiques - which are so helpful and affirming - said as much. Read things like, “This is the best student work submitted,.” Simply means Ms. Gaige teaches well and to every level. Just make sure you give yourself enough time before the due dates so you can edit yourself o your best work!

By Hugo E G L

Jul 18, 2016

It was a great experience. This course enhanced my writing skill to a whole new level. The most important thing is that it was both: challenging and fun.

I would recommended to anyone who wishes to improve their skill as a writer, storyteller, and so on.

You would regret it if you don't enroll on this one. By the way, language is not a excuse. English is not my mother language, and I had a lot of fun with this course. It also improved my writing skill. Grammar is a must.

Cheers!

By Neepa C

Mar 28, 2021

Amity Gaige is excellent. I would join the program just for her. She leads you specifically and shares examples to help you understand better. We are learners and that's what we need- the specifics. Not vague ideas and feels that teachers normally share. I thoroughly enjoyed all the lectures. Most persuasive and easy to understand. Thanks very much. I only wish that the system of grading was different as needs faculty intervention to be more meaningful for the learners.

By Dawn P

Feb 6, 2021

All the courses in this Creative Writing Sequence have been informative, and what I've learned has transformed my storytelling. Amity Gaige's class, The Craft of Setting and Description, is particularly engaging, and her approach to the craft offers help with visualization, research, POV, and oh-so-much more! I am incredibly grateful this course exists. Thank you, Amity Gaige! I encourage Coursera to add more offerings like this for aspiring authors! I'll subscribe!

By Richard W

Jun 30, 2017

Really enjoyed this course, even though the assignments were increasingly hard.

In the first week there are a few hours of videos, after that only about 1.5 hours of material per week, but it's very concentrated goodness. The lecturer is very clear and interesting.

The assignments are "stretching", and the more you put into them the more you get out. I also learnt a lot by reviewing other people's work. The reviews I received were helpful, thoughtful and positive.

By Grace H

Jun 21, 2018

This segment of the Creative Writing course was highly valuable to me. I am a "good writer", but have never had any coursework in creative writing. Even as an English minor in college, I CLEP-ed out of all writing courses due to high school essay submissions. I regret not having pursued writing courses in college, but now this valuable course has clarified many things for me, and my writing has been greatly enhanced with the guidance provided. Thank you!

By Sepas H

Jan 8, 2019

Professor Gaige is one of the very best teachers that I've had in my entire life. She tries to explain everything in small details and examples; examples that make it crystal clear for the students to comprehend the whole concept; explaining them in such a sincere way, it is hard to believe that you're actually learning something new, but you are.

thanks a lot for your super informative course professor Gaige,

I hope I can use the lessons in my writings.

By Mike M

Dec 6, 2017

The courses in this series have been extremely helpful in focusing my attention on what matters most. Each component fits nicely, especially the last one. I really think the various interviews with writers and the teaching staff make a huge difference, bringing the aspiring writer into the real world, actually sitting around the 'table' with the pro's. Writing and receiving peer reviews is a tremendous learning opportunity. Thanks, and well done!

By Aditya R

Jun 25, 2020

Very descriptive and profound course that touches various aspects of Creative Writing. Recommending pieces by other writers helped to understand what kind of writing is expected of a good fiction author. Conversations with other professors helped us to explore the connection between setting and the other parts of the story. Amity is a fantastic lecturer and provides valuable insight throughout the course. Thanks for this phenomenal course.

By Hirak K S

May 9, 2016

Creative writing being an art, one may try and describe its constituents but never an entire composition. One such constituent is setting and description. Amity Gaige presents this constituent with rare sensitivity. She recommends inspirational reading materials, and designs challenging assignments that defines the space yet affords freedom to the learner. Additionally, she possesses an effective screen presence.

By Sean D

Sep 10, 2018

I’ve enjoyed this course the most so far (having completed Craft of Plot and Character), perhaps it’s due to a general improvement in my writing through the skills I’ve alredy gained, but I really felt these particular modules were very good and really challenged my imagination. A great course from Amity Gaige who does an excellent job in helping to develop your techniques in setting and description.

By Shweta B

Jul 17, 2018

This particular module helped me to explore the shut passages of my mind and heart. It improved my language skills and ability to think and write about not just the characters but the things and place that surround them and be specific with it. I have really become fond of Amity, She shared some brilliant exercises that can help us concentrate and write with our mind, body and soul in our work.

By Robert G

Apr 18, 2019

Excellent course, very informative and interactive. Amity is a wonderful facilitator of the course, her passion and commitment to writing can be sensed in every word of advice she offers. The course is well-balanced in its offerings, exercises, 1-on-1 discussions and assignments. Because of this course, I will most likely continue to look at others in this "writing series".

Robert Garlington

By Sandra M

Dec 29, 2020

This course was really helpful for thinking (and writing) about the setting and description for a story. A big THANK YOU to Amity Gaige - you clearly put a great deal of thought into how to communicate the topics in this course in a way that new authors could understand and apply them. I particularly liked the concept of "Imaginative Research" and will use that in all of my future writing.

By Wynnie N

Feb 14, 2017

One can tell that Amity Gaige has carefully tailored this course to teach us the craft of setting and description. I have never paid much attention to it before, always connecting much more to the characters' feelings. Only now after taking this course, I can appreciate how important setting and description really is for the reader and also for the characters in your story. Thank you Amity!

By Amy A R

Aug 1, 2016

This was an excellent class. The assignments were specific, challenging, and enjoyable. I enjoyed the instructor's approach and insight to writing. Additionally, I found the supplemental materials very helpful. Finally, sharing past student work with current students helped clarify the subject matter and gave me perspective on the required assignments. I wish more instructors did that!