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

4.5
stars
1,689 ratings
485 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 10, 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.

N
Sep 25, 2020

The course was very well-structured and challenging. The instructor is very experienced and good, thus used relevant materials for this course, be it the guests, or the assignments, or the examples.

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401 - 425 of 483 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Character

By Esther Z

Jul 30, 2019

A little boring at times but lots of valuable information on how to build a character.

By Brooke B

Jun 17, 2020

Great course, but I do wish the actual instructors gave their feedback on your work.

By Erick A

Oct 24, 2020

Muy buen curso, te da todas las herramientas básicas para crear tu personaje

By Robert M H

May 4, 2018

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By Margot R M

Jun 8, 2016

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

By Ma. C D

Oct 14, 2018

Somtimes the assignment instructions were hard to understand.

By Shreyashi K

May 10, 2020

It was an amazing course, helped me hon my writing skills.

By Madhu K S

Jul 23, 2018

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

By Norrarat S

Sep 21, 2017

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

By Elsa W P

May 31, 2017

I enjoyed the exploration, and the writing exercises.

By Sumit S

Oct 30, 2018

Great and helpful.

10/10 would recommend

By Paulo S

Jan 8, 2018

nice lectures and lesson activities

By Adonay O G

May 4, 2020

Very demanding, I'm worn out.

By Ritupriya G

Apr 20, 2016

Very insightful .Thanks

By Victor F A

Oct 4, 2016

Excellent course!

By Tim J

May 26, 2017

Excellent class!

By Andrea E M

May 30, 2019

Very helpful :)

By Jennifer B

Sep 20, 2021

I enjoyed the lectures and the interviews with authors and found both helpful. Top marks for the quality of those elements. I discovered some authors whose books are now on my reading list.

I would have appreciated more structure on the fundamentals, perhaps with assigned readings and self-assessment exercises.

The feedback that I received was less valuable than in other writing courses I have taken. I, in turn, found that it was challenging to provide helpful feedback. The skill level was quite uneven, and many were so poor in the fundamentals that it was hard to know where to begin. Given that the enrollment is large, could you do a real-time writing exercise at the beginning to place learners in levels and tailor the teaching to their needs? Or, could you suggest to students that they take advantage of software like Grammarly? Is there a programme that is better suited to creative writing?

A technical point, I could not find a way to copy-paste the submissions in a way that did not leave me with tedious re-formatting- and even when it seemed correct, line breaks and indents would disappear, or get larger. I did wish I could have uploaded rather than copy-paste the assignments. Perhaps I could have and missed the instruction. The spacin gin this feedback is a good example of the problem- I have leftit uncorrected

Overall, I enjoyed the course; it got me back into writing and thinking about the craft. The instructor, Any Bloom and her interviews were the highlight. I hope my feedback will be helpful.

By Vidhi D

Aug 13, 2020

I have quite a bit to say about the course.

Firstly, I know that there are delicate nuances and such to writing good, memorable characters, and the instructor has explained them pretty well, but I feel that the technicalities required to actually begin writing somewhat-good characters, and even those required to finish the requisite assignments were barely touched upon. The explanations seemed vague at the very best.

Secondly, about peer review. I reviewed over 30 assignments, and it is safe to conclude that many peers didn't understand the instructions or the grading rubric. For the former, one could say that the instructions were confusing and difficult to follow through for someone just starting off with creative writing. Moreover, many peers were just not interested in giving fruitful feedback and left words like "good," "." and the like. So that didn't help much.

Apart from these two points, the course was enjoyable. Thank you for reading.

By judy t

Aug 2, 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 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 Deepak S R

Jul 23, 2020

This would be challenging one for you, since it is mainly on development of characters, dialogues for your fiction. The tutor is good and has deep sense on characterization, though I did feel some difficulty in getting the concrete idea or point encompassed in the lecture plan. Coming to assignments, as a learner, we have to give our strong reviews for our peers, but here most people wanted to get just grades for extra-certificate, it would be completely fine, if all participate seriously as well as attentive. I am going to apply what I extract from it, and yeah, anyway, it helped me. Thanks :0) coursera.

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 Sinny N

Nov 22, 2020

I wish the professor explanation were a little clearer, I always had to watch videos two or three times to take notes and understand what she was saying. Also, I know there's not a formula to create a good character, but I feel I missed a lot of it because I couldn't understand her, she talks a lot and uses little explanation and too much passage reading. I would have like the uses of character charts or templates, and more book terms definitions. Overall, there were a few videos that were very eyed opening, specially the ones with other writers.

By David R

Apr 24, 2021

The most helpful part of this course was the books that Amy Bloom recommended and sited during the lectures. While her descriptions of how to create compelling characters was interesting, I didn't come away from the course with specific exercises or tools I could use. Also, I put a lot of work into the assignments and was disappointed with the scant feedback I received from my peers. Some reviewers simply entered single letters in their question boxes so that they could score my work and move on. Is there some way to police that?