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Starting a MOOC

I recently began a MOOC through Wesleyan. It's part of my Champions of Wayne goal this semester. As director of academics, my boss and I are asking staff to set their own goals alongside their mentees. For me, it's to actually complete a MOOC. I tend to start them and never finish.

So this weekend, I began Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot. Watching the videos was the easy part; it's actually sitting down to write that's been difficult. I'm starting to realize what students go through when we don't give them time to brainstorm before asking them to write.

Brando Skyhorse, a novelist and the course's instructor, posed great questions about characters that I plan to use in my own creative writing course:

1. What do they want? What gets in their way from getting what they want? This is the rising action.
2. What are their weaknesses?
3. Where are they from (emotionally and geographically)?
4. Where are they going?
5. What can your characters do to surprise you?

I've started and stopped so many times this weekend as I've tried to craft a character. I've turned to apps to help with brainstorming (I had forgotten about Story Dice, an app I downloaded years ago and never really used). 

I'll post a character after I spend a little more time developing him. I'm even finding it difficult to not write about or craft characters that seem a little too like characters that were in novels that I've read recently. Time to go on a walk to clear my brain.




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