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.
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.
von Deleted A•
Nov 16, 2017
Great material but students grading other student's work becomes a problem if they can prohibit another from passing.
von Jorge T•
Aug 08, 2016
The excercises on the course are great, but the videos can be a little vague.
von 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.
von Jeanette D•
Feb 12, 2017
I think Judy Bloom is a brilliant writer. She is also an engaging instructor but I found it difficult at time to discern what the salient points or "take-aways" were from the lectures. I also found the assignment to be less than clear.
von Subash G•
Mar 03, 2017
If the week 4 was not there, i would have a 2 or even a 1 for this class.
Until week 4, there was very little connection between what we were watching and what we were asked to write assignments. And the assignments were also confusing and overly restrictive. There didnt seem to be any sense in why we were asked to write those.
von Paulene A•
May 29, 2017
This course could use some work, but nevertheless I learned a bit more than I already knew.
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.
von Jill B•
Sep 10, 2016
Excellent lectures. Assignments were a little too "exercisey" for me.
von Elizabeth E•
Mar 13, 2017
I did come away with some good books/stories for reading, but would have like them to be included in the course the way it is in the Setting and Description module. I found the videos did not always lead up to the assignment, and I think the assignments could have been more clearly laid out. I still came away learning, but it did not feel very structured. To be fair, character is a sort of amorphous subject to begin with.
von Chaz G•
Jan 25, 2017
As much as I enjoyed completing this course, as I've enjoyed every course in this program, this one feels less organised than the others simply in that the learning material doesn't clearly connect with the writing material and it was difficult to predict what the review criteria might be. I found myself guessing at the meaning of each week's modules before completing my assignments and more often than not I discovered little correlation between the videos and assignments.
von Sara A•
Mar 18, 2018
The assignments are hard to understand and not well explained. They are also completely irrelevant to the lessons of the week.
von Nathan B•
May 15, 2018
I found most of the assignments very confusing and difficult to complete. It is a real challenge and forces you to really think, think hard and hope for the best. If you take the course, good luck.
von 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.
von 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.
von 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.
von Paul C•
Oct 29, 2018
Was really looking forward to this section but felt it was lacking in content.
Too many interviews which were full of quotations and praise for other authors and was left feeling disappointed.
von Patrick L•
May 02, 2016
I didn't think there were many solid pointers...and not much that was original coming from the instructor herself.
von Ian B•
Jun 21, 2017
This is by far the weakest course of the creative writing specialization. The majority of it is spent with the "teacher" having shop talk sessions with other novelists, but doing very little teaching herself.
von Pritika P•
Dec 18, 2017
I found the assignments very challenging to understand as there was very little clarity in the way they were written. Had to constantly reach out to mentors and forum discussions to actually understand what the instructor wanted.
Overall, I did not enjoy this course as much as I enjoyed the other three courses of this series.
von salima h•
Mar 23, 2016
this was my least favorite of the classes - the lectures ere not informative, and far too lofty. The style class, the plot class and the setting class all had detailed, concrete teachings, whereas these lectures were too airy. Most of them consisted of authors chatting with each other. The assignments required real craft however, and it would have been helpful to LEARN those skills in the modules.
For example, one assignment asked us to describe a character in a setting, while they were not actually there - say a divorced nurse in a hospital. Not once in the lectures were we ever taught HOW to do this. We watched a series of author fireside chats, and then people bumbled through the assignment. I really wanted Amy Bloom to just walk over to the board and draw a character and say "this is a woman, she's divorced, she's middle class, she tends to get very angry when things don't go her way" or whatever,and then draw out a list of how her internal states might manifest in the world around her - she throws things, she's disorganized, she writes mean notes in the patient charts.
I wanted her to teach. She seems to think we already know how to do things like imply a characters state of mind through action. I mean, for a beginning writer, its helpful to just make a list of details about a character - where they're from, what they like or don't like, what sort of flaws they might have and so on. We did barely any of this. It was assumed we knew the basics of characterization, but most students did not!
some of the other students frustration and confusion came out in the peer review, which was a bad sign.
von Monika C B•
Mar 15, 2016
I didn't find this module very helpful and some of the assignments were truly confusing. I wish there was more "meat" in the sessions and more availability to access the lecturers more readily when there was confusion. I don't like the fact I pay money for other people to "assess" my work when half of them don't even read my submissions properly. Or the question. Or both. So if the lectures don't stretch me, I find my money spent unwisely.
von Aiden T N•
Nov 29, 2016
I am honestly not a fan of Amy's teaching style. She seems to have a discussion with herself about character building techniques but not really explain the technique nor structure it for the student.
There are too many shop talks.
I would rather have a structure explained to me and then hear a discussion... the way Brando Skyhorse does in the Plot course... really a let down. I will have to buy the book she keeps averting I guess... after spending quite good money on the course already. Pity
von Olivia W•
Apr 06, 2016
This was my least favourite course in the the Creative Writing Specialisation. I learnt a bit about creating characters but I found the lessons bland and the assignments difficult to understand.
von Madison T•
Oct 05, 2016
Instructions were very unclear compared to the rest of the courses in the specialization.
von Elaina J•
Feb 02, 2018
The lessons do not seem to match the assignments. The instructions for the assignments are confusing.