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

4.5
1,055 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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201 - 225 of 290 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Character

By Margot R M

Jun 09, 2016

Liked this course. It helps to make sure character is central to the plot

By Noha D

Nov 08, 2017

Good course, i have learned few very useful concepts, thanks to Amy.

The last assignment was genius, helped us to really recognize differences between two POV,.

However, first assignments were a little bit confusing.

By Melissa C

Mar 18, 2016

Great insight into character, voice and connecting with our story. The professor also references books that can be read to further our understanding. The only drawback is that auditing students cannot participate in feedback on assignments.

By Paulo S

Jan 08, 2018

nice lectures and lesson activities

By Norrarat S

Sep 21, 2017

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

By Irina 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 Chew W Y

Jun 22, 2016

The material is interesting and relevant. I found the assignments challenging and the review questions slightly lengthy.

By Sharon

Mar 15, 2016

I enjoyed Amy Bloom's guidelines and am keen to create some well rounded characters. Thank you for enabling me to follow along without having to pay ( no evaluation of the assignments).

By S. J W

Mar 20, 2016

I do not understand why these courses over lap. I finished #2 today, tried to start #3 but found that I had 10 hours to complete the first weeks assignment? Who is in charge out there?

By Andrea G

Mar 23, 2016

I liked it overall, though there were some glitches and I was hoping that there'd be at least some feedback from course organizer.

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 Victor F A

Oct 04, 2016

Excellent course!

By Joey L

Oct 06, 2016

Typically writing courses deal with either the business of writing, or the pretentious art and literature side of writing. Almost nobody deals with the science of writing. Where is the talk on motivational arrows? Character likabilities like being unrelenting? Where is the meta-analysis of good techniques in writing? meta-data is the future of defining the science of writing, but it's not mentioned here even slightly. What about will he/won't he moments? Backstory interacting and being relevant to the plot? What about fish out of water? This course doesn't even touch upon foundational pillars and tenets that make good writing. I couldn't imagine paying for this course, since I've already paid too much with my time. As it stands, I could have taught a better course than this, and maybe some day I'll be so fortunate as to move writing studies in the right direction, towards the truth that older generation teachers are unwilling to accept: that good writing is empirical, and therefore can be learned.

By Eve B

Dec 02, 2017

I really enjoyed the lectures of the course and found Amy Bloom to be an informative and relatable writer and lecturer. The assignments were a bit odd, in my opinion, but maybe that's the way writing assignments are in general?

By Max H

Jun 29, 2017

the assignment descriptions are very confusing so I'd recommend looking into the forums for help. decent videos

By Pam N

Jul 10, 2017

I enjoyed this course and I would recommend it to others. I enjoyed the assignments and felt like they challenged and stretched me in good ways.

Criticisms include: some confusing titles - why is the third section called Location, Location, Location, when it is the second section that is about location? Some of the wording in the rubrics seem to refer to things not discussed before. So, some revision and clarity would be much appreciated.

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 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.

By Mohammad S

Jun 25, 2017

The assignments tend to be very confusing, I understand that they make sense for making characters, the difficulty might just be with the characters, but they are quite confusing.

By Ritupriya G

Apr 20, 2016

Very insightful .Thanks

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 Victoria C L

Jan 15, 2017

Good course (I did the free version, full disclosure). Learned enough about character development to help me with my fiction - and non-fiction. I teach creative nonfiction and you need to understand how to make the people you use compelling. Wish there was more exposition, factual step-by-step and less interviewing. Liked the Plot class better for that reason

By James B

Mar 16, 2016

I like Amy Bloom, but the lectures don't provide the explanations or the processes for creating characters. In the Craft of Plot, Skyhorse gave us the tools we need to develop plot and structure, and even how to start to develop characters. But in this course, the lectures don't do that. They seem more philosophical than instructional and all of the lectures go right over my head. Craft of Plot gave me hope, Craft of Character confused me.

By Sherma W C

Jan 06, 2017

Excellent course. The video presentations are well done with information that is vital for developing the skill required to be an effective writer. They include videos that discuss concepts and interviews with successful writers. The assignments are challenging but enjoyable and well paced. This the second course I have taken in the specialization, and I am pleased with the big level of expertise that is shared by the instructors.

By Fernanda B

Oct 25, 2017

I loved this course, but sometimes the assignments weren't quite clear. Apart from that, the teacher is genius and it's great.