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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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176 - 200 of 292 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Character

By Lynnette O

Feb 02, 2017

I had no idea how much I didn't know! I enjoyed the class and felt like I learned a lot. Thank you!

By Claudia

Aug 06, 2017

Wonderful course with tons of suggestion to make your characters memorable! The assignments were difficult but I enjoyed the challenge. Looking forward to the next one!

By Savita B

Sep 07, 2017

Very good course, including excellent input from the teachers, and, in my opinion, some challenging assignments, which enable the student to learn more.

By Yvette H

Oct 24, 2017

Really loved this course but the assignment instructions could be simplified. I cut and pasted them then added bullets to sort them out.

By Sean D

Jul 23, 2018

Great course, although some of the assignment briefs could be clearer. I would definitely advise using the forums to help get advice form members and mentors and also search for assignment examples. Tough but rewarding.

By Tulia G

May 07, 2019

Excellent course for having the first insights about the different kind of narrator, learning about how to build background and subtext in order to show our characters trough details, actions, and locations. Thank you!

By Hui J H

May 23, 2019

Auditing this course was a great insight to many writers' own method and approach to the ideas of character, dialogue and voice! It was incredibly informative and I will be trying these suggestions out in my own writing exercises. Thank you team!

By Ricardo P

Jun 30, 2019

In this course, Amy Bloom teaches students the different ways of creating a character, whether by observing family members or friends or creating them from scratch—this course goes into detail on what it takes to craft convincing characters and understand them so that the reader is persuaded into believing their goals and actions. The course also goes focuses on the narrator's voice and the many different points of view that a writer can use (first person, third person omniscient, etc). This is a good entry level course for beginners who want to gain an understanding of character creation basics. The assignments were thought-provoking and really helped with putting into practice the concepts laid out by the videos. This Course is meant for writers that are just starting out by allowing them to develop setting, dialogue and actions for in-depth characterization of people in a story.

By Carmen L B

Jun 13, 2019

With this course, I gathered a strong sense of how to develop a character for a story or scene.

By Tabitha R B

Sep 23, 2019

Got a LOT out of this one. I've really started to have the proverbial rubber meet the road, I'm discovering my voice better as a writer. Thank you so much for all the information you provided in this course!

By Mohd F

Oct 08, 2019

I learnt so much about the developing of characters and Week 4 about Point of view is incredible. Glad to take this course.

By Vishal M

Oct 16, 2019

It was an interesting and in depth course. The resources are good and especially how to ask questions to create a compelling characters. Its worth a shot.

By Sandra D

Jan 29, 2019

The course could have been delivered better, but I enjoyed the challenging assignments.

By Anusha N

Feb 08, 2019

The course is intense, in fact MUCH more intense than the course on plot. I felt challenged and inspired to complete the assignments. Peers reviews were exceptionally objective and therefore helpful. What I felt was lacking was in Week 4 of the course - the section on points-of-view in narration. External reading to understand the different voices of narration and voices of narrative are highly recommended. Would have appreciated more help from the instructor in that particular week.

By Inés K

Jan 05, 2019

I found this course a little less enthralling than the other three, mostly due to the fact that the videos lacked the interactive element that the other courses had, and due to the fact that there was a lot of repetition in what was being said. Contents was interesting, and I loved the assignments, but the whole thing lacked a little pep.

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 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 Naina S

Oct 30, 2018

Great and helpful.

10/10 would recommend

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 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 Ma. C D

Oct 14, 2018

Somtimes the assignment instructions were hard to understand.

By Ali N

Sep 19, 2018

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

By Cat B

Feb 17, 2018

Well-organized and well-structured, good examples, multiple perspectives from practicing writers. The content on character development, the role of dialog and action in revealing characters, and POV/voice would be most helpful for novice writers (but perhaps also for experienced writers!)

By Robert M H

May 04, 2018

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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.