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David Hill: Bring Your Characters to Life!

David Hill copy1 Saturday, April 29, 10am-4pm   
$130 members/$145 non-members     
Testimonials for David

Among the many aspects of successful narrative, one of the most essential is effective characterization. “Think of your favorite books or stories,” says instructor David Hill, “and chances are you remember the central characters as if you’d experienced them in real life.” But how do writers bring characters to life on the page?

In this class, we’ll explore the many available tools for developing believable and interesting characters, focusing not only on external appearance and dialogue, but also on characters’ interiority, authorial intrusion, and filtering through other characters. We’ll explore elements of “flat” and “round” characters, direct and indirect characterization, consistency vs. contradiction, the development of a character as the story progresses, and how our choice of point of view affects the way we represent characters on the page.

We’ll read closely from the work of established authors and engage in writing exercises designed not only to begin creating characters but to put those characters into action. We’ll also have opportunities to share what we write in class in order to learn from and encourage one another, as well as offer constructive and meaningful feedback for further development. Writers of all levels of experience are welcome.

David William Hill served as assistant editor for two oral history books: Underground America: Narratives of Undocumented Lives (McSweeney’s, 2008) and Invisible Hands: Voices from the Global Economy (McSweeney’s, 2014). He currently serves on the editorial staff of Chicago Quarterly Review. His fiction has appeared in [PANK], Chicago Quarterly Review, Hobart, J Journal: New Writing on Justice, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and Cimarron Review, among others, and he was a finalist for both a Glimmer Train prize and the Montana Prize in Fiction. He holds an MFA from San Francisco State University and has taught creative writing at San Francisco State, Academy of Art University, and City University of Hong Kong.


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