Some of you may remember I took a 'Writing Crime Fiction' course at Cardiff University in the autumn. It was an excellent course run by Dr. Katherine Stansfield. I don't intend switching genres but the knowledge I gained from her over ten weeks has and will prove invaluable when dealing with crimes in my family sagas. Already I feel that Detective Leo Gianopoulis in 'Whispering Olive Trees' is all the more authentic because of me having taken the course. A free 'Future Learn' course on 'Forensic Psychology - Witness Investigation' run by The Open University was recommended back in October and I signed up there and then. It lasts for eight weeks and it is recommended that you spend three hours a week on it.
At the end of the course, you should be able to:
- investigate and understand the psychology of eyewitness testimony
- develop your own investigative skills
- explore human cognition and discover the mistakes your own brain can make
- discuss concepts of criminal investigation
- explore and consider the relationship between limitations of the human brain and miscarriages of justice
The main thrust of the course will how to try to solve a crime using nothing but eyewitness evidence. Despite advances in forensic science, eyewitness testimony is still a vital part of police investigations. However, research has proved that there are dangers in relying on this testimony and police must be careful when interviewing witnesses. Through videos of real witnesses, the course will explore the psychology of eyewitness testimony. As my novel is set before the advent of DNA, I'm sure finding out more about how the human brain reacts to recalling what has been witnessed will prove useful.
The course starts today so wish me luck. I'll let you know how I get on. Have you undertaken any courses that complement the genre in which you write? Have you followed any 'Future Learn' courses?
Thank you for reading.