Creative Writing: The Craft of Character

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Opleiderscore: starstarstarstar_borderstar_border 6,3 Coursera heeft een gemiddelde beoordeling van 6,3 (uit 4 ervaringen)

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Beschrijving

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About this 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 interest…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this 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.

Created by:  Wesleyan University
  • Taught by:  Amy Bloom, Distinguished University Writer in Residence and Director of the Shapiro Center for Creative Writing

Basic Info Course 2 of 5 in the Creative Writing Specialization Commitment 4 weeks of study, 2-4 hours/week Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.5 stars Average User Rating 4.5See what learners said Coursework

Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.

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Wesleyan University At Wesleyan, distinguished scholar-teachers work closely with students, taking advantage of fluidity among disciplines to explore the world with a variety of tools. The university seeks to build a diverse, energetic community of students, faculty, and staff who think critically and creatively and who value independence of mind and generosity of spirit.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Discovering Characters from Your Life and Elsewhere



What happens in the writer's mind before any words are written on the paper? Characters then reveal themselves through conflict and drama. Without conflict there is no purpose to the story. We then discuss desire. Human beings want things, even when we don't really know what it is we wish for. Finally, we conclude the module like Michelangelo, chipping away everything that is not the masterpiece statue of David. Learn to find what is germane to the story you are telling by looking closely at the character.


5 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: Conception
  2. Video: The Conflict Within (Shop Talk with Brando Skyhorse)
  3. Video: Desire and Goals
  4. Video: Hearing, Selecting, and Seeing
  5. Reading: A Note on Assignments
  6. Video: Feedback Expectations for the Specialization
  7. Reading: Promo Codes

Graded: Creating a Character from an Idea

WEEK 2


Creating Characters on the Page



Here, we delve deeper into the characters. What is their physical description, and how can we describe them through action? How do they speak? What makes me want to read about them? When your characters need help or understanding, or even rescuing, this draws the reader in, far more than likability. Finally, we discuss how the plot reveals the inner life of characters through what they do as well as say.


4 videos expand


  1. Video: Visiting Writer: Richard Blanco
  2. Video: Voice
  3. Video: Making Them Matter to the Reader (with Visiting Writer Dani Shapiro)
  4. Video: The Story Reveals Who We Are (Shop Talk with Salvatore Scibona)

Graded: Observation and Implication

WEEK 3


Dialogue and Monologue



How do we lead a reader to a world that feels real? Narrators have an attitude, towards subjects and audience, about the world and its events. We discuss in this module considerations involved in planning for these realities, including the differences between first and third person and the construction of dialogue with verisimilitude - the feel of real life - while stripping away the tedium. We ask what idiosyncrasies your characters possess and how to control them to advance the narrative.


4 videos expand


  1. Video: Inflection
  2. Video: Picking Your Point of View (Shop Talk with Amity Gaige)
  3. Video: Conversation's Greatest Hits
  4. Video: Idiosyncrasies

Graded: Location, Location, Location

WEEK 4


Set Your Characters Free.. and Give Them Somewhere to Go



In this module, we reflect on how our readers learn about our characters - and how we as writers do, as well. We ask questions about who is telling the story, why, and with what goal. We conclude the course with a conversation about the narrator and, distinctly, the narrative, to see how they shape the reader's perception of character and story.


4 videos expand


  1. Video: What We Do and How We Do It
  2. Video: The Relationship Between the Character and the Wide World (with Visiting Writer Valerie Martin)
  3. Video: Voice of Narrator
  4. Video: Voice of Narrative

Graded: Point of View

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