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

4.5
1,098 ratings
313 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 307 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Character

By Norrarat S

Sep 21, 2017

great course ! help me a lot on my fantasy novel writing

By Iryna A

Aug 09, 2017

Even though I enjoyed the course, I found the description of the assignments sometimes very confusing and lacking in details.

By Madhu S

Jul 24, 2018

Liked the course. Assignments were not very clear to me.

By Ali N

Sep 19, 2018

Enjoyed the lectures, but the assignments were poorly explained and definitely could have been better.

By Ma. C D

Oct 14, 2018

Somtimes the assignment instructions were hard to understand.

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 Andrea E M

May 30, 2019

Very helpful :)

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 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 Jordan W

Oct 24, 2019

A helpful overall look at character but not particularly deep, still useful even for a refresher when writing something new

By Wanda J

Aug 12, 2017

Craft of Character did a lot for my ability to create characters, and I learned a lot about writing dialogue, and the different points of view that those dialogues can come from. Instructions were always perfectly clear and easy to understand. Of course I wasn't always expert at the week's process involved, but that wasn't because of the directions being in anyway unclear. I loved taking this course, and will definitely be continuing on in the Specialization.

By Federico B S

May 30, 2018

Character is one of the most difficult aspects of fiction writing and I think this course does a good job of getting you to understand it. It would definitely benefit from some additional mandatory readings. Parts of James Wood's How Fiction Works would be right on the money.

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 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 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 Ursula M

May 12, 2017

I really enjoyed this course. The lectures were particularly interesting. I think one thing that could be improved is the phrasing of the assignments. I wasn't entirely sire of what was required for each week (especially week 2). But saying that I feel a lot more prepared in regards to approaching characters and I feel equipped with many different thoughts and techniques to tackle character in the future.

By Paulo S

Jan 08, 2018

nice lectures and lesson activities

By Geoff N

Feb 27, 2017

A well thought out course that was very illuminating. Not sure about the complexity of week 2's assignment, but overall good value.

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 Angela F

Sep 07, 2016

I liked the course -- there were plenty of useful tips throughout. However, I felt some of the assignments were unnecessarily oblique and complicated (particularly the second assignment). Ultimately, it was a helpful course, though I feel much of the information, expectation, and specific instruction could be more streamlined.

By lisa r

Jun 17, 2016

This course was very interesting and the assignments were good. I thought it relied too much on conversations with other authors but overall it was enjoyable and I learned new skills.