Saturday, April 20th 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Berkeley
$95 members/$110 non-members
Characters are the flesh and bones of fiction. A writer might have a vivid setting, an intriguing plot, and beautifully crafted sentences. But without fully developed characters a story never comes alive.
The best fiction is inhabited by distinctive and complex characters. “Think of Holden Caufield in Catcher in the Rye, Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, Sethe in Beloved, or Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” says Elaine Beale. “These characters captivate us. We see them, hear them speak, and feel compelled to keep reading. Good fiction also requires characters that develop and change over the course of a short story or a novel. But their changes must be convincing, otherwise the story just doesn’t work.”
In this workshop you’ll learn techniques to create convincing and compelling characters. You’ll clarify what is meant by terms such as character development and character arc. You’ll also do exercises designed to help you go deeper into the process of creating fictional characters. And you’ll talk about how, as writers, we manage a cast of characters in our stories. You’ll also look at how character development is inextricably linked with structure and plot.
Designed for writers of all levels, this workshop will leave you inspired and excited about your fiction, and you’ll leave with some concrete tools to help you to improve your work.
Elaine Beale’s most recent novel, Another Life Altogether, has received praise from the Boston Globe, Lambda Literary, Publishers Weekly, More Magazine, and the Bay Area Reporter, among others, was featured in Oprah Magazine, and chosen as the December 2010 Book of the Month by The Circle of Respect. Elaine has taught creative writing for more than a decade, has a graduate degree in Education from the University of London (UK), and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.