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

4.5
stars
1,329 ratings
381 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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326 - 350 of 376 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Character

By MaryLee

Aug 02, 2020

The videos provided some great information, but the assignments often seemed unrelated to the weekly videos. Although I figured I had plenty to learn so I forced myself to do the best I could with the assignments, I often wasn't clear what the assignment was trying to teach me.

By Jamaluddin K

Nov 06, 2019

The lectures were informative, but the end-of-week assignments were VERY poorly explained, generally had little to do with the week's lectures, and to add insult to injury had grading criteria that did not correspond with the points that were laid out in the instructions.

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 Adam M

Jul 03, 2020

Good course but let down by a lack of required readings and the awful peer review system. Amy Bloom is also often seemingly intentionally ambiguous in her assignment specifications which is extremely frustrating. Nonetheless, there's a lot of valuable information here.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Riccardo C

Mar 31, 2020

I found the lectures were not providing enough details and practical informations on how to build a credible character. There should be more references to famous novels.

By Dominique S

May 14, 2019

The information provided is great, but there's so many "shop talks" aka interviews with other Coursera instructors that it misses out on so many possible true lessons.

By Wihann S

May 27, 2020

Some of the assignments are really confusing, with non to little actionable steps to take. This course can be way more streamlined. Enjoyed it nonetheless

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 Davide P

Sep 26, 2019

Has been a great course but I would have loved more readings and a little bit more formal rules to sketch our own characters.

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 stanislava o

Sep 23, 2018

I liked a lot of what was said. I wish I had some more concrete advice for building character - if such a thing exists.

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 Valarie K

May 12, 2016

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

By Sanelisiwe E M

Nov 01, 2016

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

By Stephanie L E

May 18, 2017

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

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 Digby D

Dec 03, 2017

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

By Paulene A

May 29, 2017

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