About this Course
4.7
1,609 ratings
528 reviews
Specialization
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 1-2 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, French...

Skills you will gain

Short Story WritingFiction WritingCreativityCopy Editing
Specialization
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 1-2 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, French...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Plotting a Course

In this module, we'll learn essentials about plot definitions and mechanics. What is plot? How does plot shape a narrative? What makes a strong plot? How is plot different from a story? We'll also discuss how plot works in actual books you're probably familiar with, such as the Harry Potter series, how character and action equals plot, and the five key questions you should ask yourself when creating a dynamic character....
Reading
4 videos (Total 26 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video4 videos
How Plot Works in Harry Potter8m
Character + Action = Plot7m
Feedback Expectations for the Specialization2m
Reading2 readings
A Note on Assignments10m
Promo Codes10m
Week
2
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

The Power of Structure

In this module we're going to learn what story structure is and how by understanding structure you can learn how to sequence the events in your plot to help maximize your own storytelling abilities.We'll talk about Freytag's pyramid, the five act structure, how that structure can be found in works of classic literature, and have a conversation about how structure and outlines can help organize the stories you want to tell....
Reading
3 videos (Total 22 min), 1 quiz
Video3 videos
ABDCE Structure Examples from Famous Works of Literature7m
Visiting Writer: A Conversation with Douglas Martin7m
Week
3
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

A Scene in Motion

Scenes are the building blocks of storytelling. But what is a scene? And how does a scene move plot forward? In this module we'll learn about the difference between telling and showing, the five key elements each scene should have, offer some examples of effective scenes, and have a conversation about how setting and description can make a scene come alive. ...
Reading
3 videos (Total 27 min), 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Examples of Effective Scenes8m
Shop Talk with Amity Gaige10m
Week
4
Hours to complete
3 hours to complete

Cut It Out

This modules deals with the specifics of editing and revising your work. This process of revision starts with the first draft (which will now become your second draft) and continues until the manuscript’s ready to send to an agent. Included here are a twenty-one point checklist on what to do once you have a completed first draft, and conversations about creating characters with strong motivations, and how to define language that gets rewritten vs language that gets cut. ...
Reading
4 videos (Total 32 min), 1 quiz
Video4 videos
Shop Talk with Amy Bloom10m
Shop Talk with Salvatore Scibona10m
The 21st Point3m
4.7
Career direction

56%

started a new career after completing these courses
Career Benefit

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Career promotion

30%

got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By MMDec 1st 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.

By SCApr 4th 2018

This course got me off on the right foot in writing. It gives specific structure on elements of a good plot. There is no failing, just constructive review of your work by your peers. Very good course

Instructor

Avatar

Brando Skyhorse

Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing
English

About Wesleyan University

At Wesleyan, distinguished scholar-teachers work closely with students, taking advantage of fluidity among disciplines to explore the world with a variety of tools. The university seeks to build a diverse, energetic community of students, faculty, and staff who think critically and creatively and who value independence of mind and generosity of spirit. ...

About the Creative Writing Specialization

This Specialization covers elements of three major creative writing genres: short story, narrative essay, and memoir. You will master the techniques that good writers use to compose a bracing story, populated with memorable characters in an interesting setting, written in a fresh descriptive style. You will analyze and constructively evaluate peer writing. In the Capstone, you will draft, rewrite, and complete a substantial original story in the genre of your choosing. Our courses are designed for anyone from the aspiring short story writer to established novelist. Whether you have a finished novel sitting on your desk calling for a fresh look or have had the germ of an idea for a decade, this Specialization gives you tools to achieve your goal. Through 4 courses focused on a key aspect of writing, and taken in any order you choose, you will develop a stronger ability to not only refine your writing, but critique writing in general and find inspiration in the works you are already reading. Thanks to our sponsors, upon completion of their first assignment, learners in each course will receive up to an 80% discount from Write-Bros and a 30% discount off their first purchase from Scrivener to use on their writing software. Additionally, learners who complete an assignment will receive 30% off membership at the online writing community Scribophile. For more information about our partners, see the FAQ below....
Creative Writing

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.