I signed up a two months writing course at Future Learn early this year. It was on how to get started writing. It was good to have a refresher lesson. I enjoyed the course and appreciated the feed back from the other students in the course. Now I've been alerted of the upcoming classes on how to read the mind of characters. I've never stopped to be analytical where characters are concerned when I'm writing a story. Nurse Hal in my Amish series and Gracie Evans in my Amazing Gracie Mystery series have time from one book to the next to evolve. From the readers feedback, I think those two ladies and the supporting cast in each series come over quite clear. If their personalities are written well in the course of the story the reader gets a feel for each character. Then again, I feel it never hurts to take time to listen to an expert's approach on the subject and perhaps learn what it might take to make my characters stand out better than they do now. The online college is in England, and these courses are free. A grade and certificate can be purchased, but I didn't do it last time. Just taking the course to see how I could do was enough satisfaction for me. This is the email reminder I received since I already signed up for this two week course. Our short course How to Read a Mind: an Introduction to Understanding Literary Characters begins in a few weeks’ time. I’m looking forward to welcoming you on Monday 3 October. As you know, the course will take place online and will run for two weeks. There are short units of explanation, consisting of text, images, and several short video sequences. Each unit ends by inviting you to share your own thinking and experience with other learners. We expect this course will take you about three hours each week. However, we have also included further reading and suggestions that you can follow if you are particularly interested in certain ideas. The level of engagement is entirely up to you. The area of study that we will be following is quite new, and many of even the key ideas are not yet fully settled. It is an exciting time to be involved, and – as you will see – the journey from new student to advanced study is really very short. Over two weeks, you will become fairly expert in cognitive poetics. You will understand in quite a profound way what it is to read and model the minds of other people, both real and fictional. You don’t need any preparation other than your curiosity and your own experience of reading literary fiction or viewing film and television drama. How to Read a Mind is proving to be very popular, and we already have many thousands of people from all over the world ready to study with us. There is still time to invite friends and colleagues to enroll on the course and take part alongside you. The course page where they can enroll can be found at https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/how-to-read-a-mind Feel free to pass this on through your own emails, tweets, Facebook pages, and so on: you can use the tag #FLread if you like. Or link to my Twitter account: @PeterJStockwell
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