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

4.5
1,079 ratings
307 reviews

About the Course

At the center of a good story are the characters in it. In this course aspiring writers will discover how to build and bring to life complex, vivid and unforgettable characters. We will study the choices a writer makes to bring all characters to life on the page, and we will perform written exercises in order to develop a variety of writing and pre-writing techniques, in order to create a variety of characters. We will learn how to use our own life experiences, and the people we know (and how not to!). We will develop inner (thoughts and feelings) and outer (appearance, habits, behavior) lives for our characters and see how that can lead us to richer and more interesting stories. We will breathe life into our characters and let them surprise us....

Top reviews

SS

Aug 11, 2016

I loved this course! Extremely useful and hands on. The course instructor was really impressive, both informative and empathetic, both arty and to the point. Totally admired her style of instruction.

ND

Aug 08, 2016

Excellent teaching, be aware the meat of this course is in the interviews. If you read and watch them then the assignments are self-explanatory. The discussion boards were however a disappointment.

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251 - 275 of 301 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Character

By Chaz G

Jan 25, 2017

As much as I enjoyed completing this course, as I've enjoyed every course in this program, this one feels less organised than the others simply in that the learning material doesn't clearly connect with the writing material and it was difficult to predict what the review criteria might be. I found myself guessing at the meaning of each week's modules before completing my assignments and more often than not I discovered little correlation between the videos and assignments.

By Paulene A

May 29, 2017

This course could use some work, but nevertheless I learned a bit more than I already knew.

By Nathan B

May 15, 2018

I found most of the assignments very confusing and difficult to complete. It is a real challenge and forces you to really think, think hard and hope for the best. If you take the course, good luck.

By Jeanette D

Feb 12, 2017

I think Judy Bloom is a brilliant writer. She is also an engaging instructor but I found it difficult at time to discern what the salient points or "take-aways" were from the lectures. I also found the assignment to be less than clear.

By Deleted A

Nov 16, 2017

Great material but students grading other student's work becomes a problem if they can prohibit another from passing.

By Subash G

Mar 03, 2017

If the week 4 was not there, i would have a 2 or even a 1 for this class.

Until week 4, there was very little connection between what we were watching and what we were asked to write assignments. And the assignments were also confusing and overly restrictive. There didnt seem to be any sense in why we were asked to write those.

By Sara A

Mar 18, 2018

The assignments are hard to understand and not well explained. They are also completely irrelevant to the lessons of the week.

By Elizabeth E

Mar 13, 2017

I did come away with some good books/stories for reading, but would have like them to be included in the course the way it is in the Setting and Description module. I found the videos did not always lead up to the assignment, and I think the assignments could have been more clearly laid out. I still came away learning, but it did not feel very structured. To be fair, character is a sort of amorphous subject to begin with.

By Jorge T

Aug 08, 2016

The excercises on the course are great, but the videos can be a little vague.

By Gabriel T

Apr 06, 2016

I've got the chance to practice writing and I've learned some interesting insights, but I think the instructor didn't put too much effort into this course. All there is to it are 'shop talks' and too little structure.

By Sanelisiwe E M

Nov 01, 2016

This course is beneficial to all those who struggle with character plot. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

By Hector M C L

Mar 06, 2018

It is good but I think the lectures are a little disjointed from each other and the exercises.

By Jill B

Sep 10, 2016

Excellent lectures. Assignments were a little too "exercisey" for me.

By Crystal M

Mar 19, 2017

I felt like the teaching was fairly abstract, and I had a difficult time figuring out how I was supposed to apply certain lessons. Overall, I did pick up several helpful hints, so the course was worth it.

By Digby D

Dec 03, 2017

Adequate intro course. Could gather roughly the same info with a bit of browsing the internet.

By Stephanie E

May 18, 2017

In the second course, the talks were not as useful for the assignments, particularly in week 2.

By Michael H

Aug 16, 2016

Compared to other courses in the creative writing specialization, I felt that this one needs some improvement. The video lectures just didn't have enough meat to them. For example, in other courses in the specialization, there will be links to optional readings or videos, leading to a deeper understanding of the concepts. Some readings, for example, would be welcome to give example of great (or even not so great) characterization.

By Mahaba S A S

Jun 13, 2017

The course was very interesting and shed light on the specifics on character development. However, the questions in most peer-graded assignments were some times not suitable for the assignment.

By Catherine B

Aug 10, 2016

The lectures in this class are well done and informative, and they provide a lot of good material. However, the assignment portion needs a lot of work. The instructions weren't clear for anyone taking the class which resulted in incredibly difficult grading. It was hard to even understand the basic ideas of what was required for an assignment.

I think the teacher very much needs to go back and change the wording of the assignments, add more information in the instructions, and also post an example to show what is expected since a lot of the assignments are very strange, like a describing a character without mentioning the character in any way.

By Kristin L

Mar 06, 2017

The course information was great and the assignments were very helpful. What lost points for the course was not the content provided by Wesleyan, which was good, but the poor effort on the part of many of the fellow students to really work on constructive critiques. For each assignment I had at least one of the three peer reviews that was useless to me to improve my writing, sometimes more. There should be a way to rate critiques so that students can't move on if they don't do the work of critiquing well.

By gabisamuel@ymail.com

Jan 12, 2017

I found the assignment instructions to be quite confusing. Some of the questions asked for the peer-to-peer reviews were very unclear. I didn't feel the course, overall, offered the same level of content and knowledge that the Craft of Plot offered.

By Valarie K

May 12, 2016

Good course, but assignment instructions were difficult to understand at times and no examples were given.

By Lauren V B

Mar 23, 2018

The first assignment was a lot of fun but the other three were a little confusing, as evidenced by the ever-recurring questions on the forum. The videos were usually really interesting though. Amy has a very pleasant voice but seems to rely on her notes a little too much.

By Abhiraj S D

Jul 21, 2018

the assignments were poorly worded which is the opposite of the purpose of assignment

By Houda A I

Aug 24, 2018

There parts that were rather confusing in Week 2 (assignment)