Capstone: Your Story

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Description

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  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Everything comes together in the Capstone. You will draft a complete story, narrative essay, or memoir of 8–15 pages. With the advice of your peer readers, you will revise, rewrite, and complete it. The skills you’ve learned of plotting, setting, physical description, characterization, and stylistic clarity and innovation will culminate in an original work of art all your own. We’ll discuss the steps that professional writers take to bring their work into the public world. Along the way you’ll learn the patient habits of revision that make up the writer’s life.

Created by:  Wesleyan University
  • Taught by:  Salvatore Scibona, Frank B. Weeks Visiting Prof…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Everything comes together in the Capstone. You will draft a complete story, narrative essay, or memoir of 8–15 pages. With the advice of your peer readers, you will revise, rewrite, and complete it. The skills you’ve learned of plotting, setting, physical description, characterization, and stylistic clarity and innovation will culminate in an original work of art all your own. We’ll discuss the steps that professional writers take to bring their work into the public world. Along the way you’ll learn the patient habits of revision that make up the writer’s life.

Created by:  Wesleyan University
  • Taught by:  Salvatore Scibona, Frank B. Weeks Visiting Professor of English

Basic Info Course 5 of 5 in the Creative Writing Specialization Commitment 7 weeks of study, 3-5 hours/week Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.6 stars Average User Rating 4.6See what learners said Coursework

Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.

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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.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Introduction to the Capstone and Gathering Materials



This week we lay out the agenda of the Capstone—seven weeks of structured work in which you’ll proceed from your accumulated notes and exercises to a finished piece: Your Story. We discuss the upcoming sequence of critiques of your fellow students’s work and you assemble the materials for your first draft.


3 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Reading: Specialization Survey
  2. Video: Where We've Been and Where We're Going
  3. Reading: Specialization Promo Codes
  4. Video: The Elements of Story
  5. Video: Gathering Materials


WEEK 2


Composition Strategies



Having gathered all your scraps, notes, research, exercises into one place, you now get moving on the first draft. Through interviews with Jaimy Gordon and Amy Bloom, we discuss composition strategies—the different ways different writers have approached the blank page and how they get moving toward a coherent whole.


5 videos expand


  1. Video: Strategies for Making a Coherent Whole
  2. Video: Interview with Amy Bloom, pt. 1
  3. Video: Interview with Amy Bloom, pt. 2
  4. Video: Interview with Jaimy Gordon
  5. Video: Working on a First Draft


WEEK 3


Finishing the First Draft



Compose, compose, compose. This week is devoted completely to pushing through that crucial deadline: finishing your first draft by the end of the week. As you compose, you’ll get some advice from successful Wesleyan alumni writers who have gone from where you are to published books out there in the world.


6 videos expand


  1. Video: Compose, Compose, Compose
  2. Video: Una LaMarche
  3. Video: Lin-Manuel Miranda
  4. Video: Ayelet Waldman
  5. Video: Becky Albertalli
  6. Video: First Draft

Graded: First Draft

WEEK 4


Peer Review



Now that you’ve finished your first draft, it’s time to get ready for the first big peer review. This week we’ll talk about how to give good critique, and we’ll present a sample story and sample workshop. At the end of the week, you’ll write critiques of three of your fellow students’ work while they are busy critiquing yours.


4 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: Giving Good Critique
  2. Reading: Manuscript for Workshop Demonstration
  3. Video: Workshop Demonstration, pt. 1
  4. Video: Workshop Demonstration, pt. 2
  5. Video: Three Peer Reviews


WEEK 5


Using Critique and Sanding



Some of the critiques you’ve received will seem immediately right, some more challenging, some may seem averse to your goals. This week we discuss the “Dear Workshop” Letter: a way of settling your thoughts and making decisions about what to do with all that sometimes conflicting advice as you proceed toward the final draft. We also take a moment to do a shorter critique focused more closely on the word-level decisions that you and your fellow-writers have made. You’ll perform a “sanding revision” on a single page of three of your fellow writers’ stories—you’ll report to the writer all the places her language or punctuation could use clarifying, and, just as important, where they’re already working at their best.


6 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: The Dear Workshop Letter
  2. Video: What is a Debriefing?
  3. Video: Debriefing Example: What The Conversation Looks Like
  4. Reading: Manuscript for Sanding Demonstration
  5. Video: What Is Sanding?
  6. Video: Sanding Demonstration
  7. Video: Milestone for This Week: Sanding Submission

Graded: Sanding

WEEK 6


Rewriting and Publication



If the theme of Week Three was Compose, compose, compose, this week’s theme is Revise, rewrite; revise, rewrite. We’ll discuss different ways of reading and approaching your draft to catch the action and the language and the characterization from different angles. Through a conversation with Brando Skyhorse, we’ll also take a moment to discuss what to do after the class if you hope some day soon to publish your work.


5 videos expand


  1. Video: Revise, Revise, Revise
  2. Video: Introduction to Publication
  3. Video: Brando Skyhorse on Publishing, pt. 1
  4. Video: Brando Skyhorse on Publishing, pt. 2
  5. Video: Making Progress


WEEK 7


Where to Go From Here?



By the end of this week, you will finish the final version of your story. We’ll discuss ways of continuing the creative momentum that’s brought you this far—whether through writers’ groups or conferences, or just through a daily writing practice. Once you turn in the final version of your piece, you’ll perform final critiques of the stories of three of your fellow writers and will likewise receive their evaluations of your work. Congratulations: you will have completed the Specialization.


4 videos, 1 reading expand


  1. Video: Workshops and Conferences
  2. Video: Interview with Anne Greene about Conferences
  3. Reading: Online Writing Workshops
  4. Video: Final Draft
  5. Video: Congratulations!

Graded: Final Draft
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There are no frequently asked questions yet. Send an Email to info@springest.com