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

4.5
1,056 ratings
296 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 292 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Character

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)

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 sanika s

May 10, 2019

A very interesting course, provided great insights into the in-depth process of creating character. The assignments were challenging and the peer feedback was very beneficial. I just wish the course focused more on the technicalities involved in character creation. Many of the points raised in each module felt repetitive. More energy and engagement from the main instructor would also have been helpful. Overall a perfectly satisfactory course that really got me writing. Thank you to the instructor and all the guest writers for their time and effort.

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 judy t

Aug 02, 2019

I would have given this course 5 stars except for the grading. The only reviewers of your work are fellow students. Some of them do a good job telling you what they liked about the writing and some do not just answering "yes or no" to questions asked. It would be nice if a TA or other students actually in the writing courses at Wesleyan read your work. I have learned a lot and I have liked the assignments but that is where the value has stopped. I know there are too many students for the faculty to grade or even read our work but it would be much more valuable if we really knew how we are doing. The discussion board is sporadically attended and really of no value. Feedback is important in writing and this is the part of these courses that is missing.

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 Emily F

Jun 21, 2016

I didn't find this course particularly helpful or useful. I'm not sure why, there was a disconnect somewhere, I think maybe that I didn't receive the help that I feel I still need on the subject of how to create a great, memorable, believable character. Also, some of the assignments were confusing. Nothing really stands out about this course, and it was actually a bit boring and I don't feel I learned anything related to the subject. Everything about this class needs some work: the videos, the instruction/syllabus/content, and the assignments. Sorry, I didn't like it. =(

By Andreas J

Jul 21, 2017

I prefered the Craft of Plot course to this one, and I almost felt like I learned more about creating characters in that one than I did here. I didn't feel like there was a lot of structure to this course, and the majority of the videos are shop talks about things that are somewhat unrelated to the topic of the module. The instructions for the assignments were somewhat difficult to understand too, however I did feel like some learning was acquired by doing them.

By Amanda Y H

Nov 17, 2017

The instructor did very little teaching and spent much more time interviewing other instructors from different courses. The instruction regarding character development was not very useful compared to the insight provided in the Craft of Plot course. I do not feel I got very much out of this course.