Category: Studying


Coursera: The Craft of Plot – passed

Coursera: The Craft of Plot – passed

Coursera’s ‘The craft of Plot’ is one of five courses in the creative writing category. I thought it would be a good idea to revisit the basics and also to try and get back into the habit of doing a little writing myself. In order to earn this certificate, I had to pass four assignment (marked by fellow students). It is a non-credit course and has no academic value, but I enjoyed revisiting the subjects of structure, plot/story and show don’t tell. You can view my posts on this course (and even see a sample of my writing) here: The Craft of Plot: Week One […]


The Craft of Plot (Coursera) Week Four Assignment

The Craft of Plot (Coursera) Week Four Assignment

The final week of The Craft of Plot was all about the editing and revision process (my favourite subject strangely enough). I’m not going to detail this week’s lesson as this is a topic I’d like to tackle in a post of its own (with a view to helping authors keep their editing costs down). So, the lessons this week revolved around a twenty-one point checklist of things to look for while editing. It was a good list, very detailed in fact, but I’m of the opinion it should be broken down into bite-sized chunks, rather than trying to work through a super-long ‘to-do’ list. […]


The Craft of Plot (Coursera) Week Two Assignment

Week two was all about story structure. It discussed Aristotle’s three-act structure (that of a beginning, middle and end) and Horace’s five-act structure, which was further explained as: A: Action B: Background D: Development C: Climax E: Ending My understanding of the five-act structure A scene *should* (and I use this term loosely as it would depend on the overall structure) start with a moment of Action. It doesn’t have to be Hollywood/All guns blazing, but something should be happening. Background information compliments action – and no, this is not an excuse to info dump –  background provides context to enhance the story. It should blend seamlessly […]


The Craft of Plot (Coursera) : Week one assignment

Week one of Coursera’s ‘The Craft of Plot’ discussed the differences between story and plot, the structure of plot (exposition through to denouement) and then turned its attention to the Rising Action that is oh so important in preventing your character from getting what he or she wants. Story/Plot was explained as: The king died and then the queen died (Story). The king died and then the queen died of grief (Plot). Source: E.M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel. The structure of a story included an explanation of: Exposition Inciting Incident Rising Action Climax Falling Action Denouement And then, of course, there’s the [graded] assignment: We […]


Coursera: The Craft of Plot

Coursera: The Craft of Plot

Despite being super busy with all my editing, I have decided to revisit the basics and signed up to Coursera’s ‘The Craft of Plot,’ which is a four-week course being taught by Brando Skyhorse, a creative writing professor at Wesleyan University. The course examines plot with regards to: How plot is different to story What keeps plot moving How it manipulates feelings, expectations, and desires How to show and not tell when writing scenes Examines the choices storytellers take with regards to grabbing our imaginations, dragging them into a fictional world, and keeping them there. How to outline and structure a plot Discuss the narrative […]

Posted 9 February, 2016 by Michelle in Blog, Studying / 0 Comments