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

4.5
1,063 ratings
298 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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226 - 250 of 292 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Character

By Sophie S

Aug 06, 2018

I didn't love the videos in this course very much – they just weren't very helpful. They had some interesting thoughts, but for the most part they felt repetitive and for someone who hasn't written much creative writing.

However, I really liked the assignments and peer editing. This course challenged me to create characters I wouldn't have otherwise, and made me think more about how the heart of a story is really in the character's hands. I got a lot more out of challenging myself with the assignments and getting surprising feedback than watching the videos.

By Nyema J

Aug 31, 2018

I gained a lot from the program but all four courses would benefit so much more by even minor contact from the staff. I've written questions and often get no response. There needs a higher commitment from Staff to engage with students enrolled in the Creative Writing Program. After completing all four programs and now doing Capstone, this is definitely a failure that could be so easily addressed.

By Naina S

Oct 30, 2018

Great and helpful.

10/10 would recommend

By Paul Z

Oct 08, 2018

Good videos. Lots of material for consideration. Good assignments! I really enjoyed stretching my comfort zone a bit . Particularly in the last exercise. Jumping from 1st Person to Omniscient POV. Had not given point of view so much brain time!!

By Tomilyn R

Sep 30, 2018

Coursera technology should improve since many people don't take the critiques seriously, and there's no way to measure someone who just writes 'yes' in every box.

By Andrea E M

May 30, 2019

Very helpful :)

By William R S

Jun 11, 2019

The course is very informative and goes into great detail as to the key points of creating interesting and fleshed-out characters. I did, however, find the course topic a bit disorganized, as there would be videos or units with a name indicating a focus on a certain aspect but would then handle a completely unrelated, if still useful, topic. This was the only flaw I found in the course, and it is relatively minor, but it would be a very useful change in the future. Otherwise, it is highly recommended so long as you don't mind a bit of a messy syllabus!

By Jane D

Jul 31, 2019

I enjoyed the lectures, but perhaps there could be more examples in writing. Like parts of stories we could read, especially with idiosyncrasies. I felt like I needed to see those things in action, on paper.

By Esther Z

Jul 30, 2019

A little boring at times but lots of valuable information on how to build a character.

By Kaitlyn B

Aug 08, 2019

This was a good course that helped me broaden my POV writing style, though the assignments were difficult to do, and one was difficult to understand.

By Kimberly F

Aug 22, 2019

I liked this class, but would have gotten more out of it had there been less conversation videos. I like some direct lecture to cement new knowledge.

By Keith G

Oct 03, 2019

I found the content useful but was irritated by how parochial the references to other writers were. There is a big wide world outside of the USA!

By Catalina v w

Oct 17, 2019

I found this course less informative than the Craft of Plot. A lot of the assignments seemed to have little to do with the videos.

By Thomas O

Feb 27, 2019

Not by far as good as the first module (Craft of Plot). This course seemed less planned and structured. The videos were mostly interviews that sort of touched upon the subjects but hardly ever got into detail. The assignments were often vague and harder to understand.

By Laura B

Dec 08, 2018

Good information in the videos. The assignments were difficult and didn't seem related to the material from the lectures.

By Camille B

Mar 28, 2019

Helpful, but not very much.

By Jeff

Jan 14, 2019

Content is great, but the app is very buggy and difficult to use.

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.