Novel II: Character As Lens
Common wisdom divides literature into plot-based and character-based stories, but are these elements of craft really so separate? In this workshop, we’ll take a deep look at the latter of these, character, to find out what our protagonists, antagonists, and ensemble can tell us about all aspects of of our novels, from plot to point of view to voice, and description to dialogue.
Through readings and exercises, we’ll practice techniques for creating stronger characters, consider the balance of interiority and action, and discuss what to do when a character surprises you. We’ll also pursue some exercises in observation and imagination to push ourselves toward creating more complex, diverse, and dynamic casts of characters. Plus, each week, we’ll spend time looking at our own work, with each student having the opportunity to submit up to 50 pages of material to be workshopped over the course of the class. Authors whose work we may look at include Edwidge Danticat, Arundhati Roy, Liso Ko, and Jeanette Winterson, among others.
Recommended for students with a full or partial first draft of a novel who are ready for a more detailed workshopping experience.
Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.
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