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Instructor Katharine Harer says, “Believable characters are an essential element of memoir and personal essays. Living, breathing characters deepen the possibility of human connection. Without fleshed-out characters, it doesn’t matter how exciting your plot or how dazzling your writing style – you’ll still leave a reader wanting more.”
In this five-week class we’ll learn how to develop characters through the use of a variety of tools and techniques, including sensory detail and fresh description; personal reflection and observation; short scenes where our characters speak and act for themselves; and the addition of bits of background and backstory when the piece calls for it. We’ll look at the differences between round and flat characters, learn about character arcs, and focus on giving our characters their own individual voices. Katharine will share strong examples of character-building by creative nonfiction writers such as Jesmyn Ward, David Wong Louie, Sarah M. Broome, Jean Guerrero, and David Sedaris.
Katharine says, “Writers with completed drafts, partial drafts, notes for a piece, or simply the desire to write in this form can all benefit from this class. You’ll do lots of in-class writing, and I will give you optional at-home assignments to practice the skills and strategies we identify and discuss in class.”
About The Writing Salon's Remote Classes
Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, The Writing Salon is running all classes in a remote learning format. You will be able to participate in live class meetings via Zoom videoconference. To attend classes, you'll need a phone, tablet or computer and access to the internet. You can participate in the class from wherever you'd like, whether on your living room couch or in your office. Before your class meets, you'll receive an email from The Writing Salon with more information about Zoom and your remote class. If you have any questions about remote learning, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Katharine Harer loves teaching creative writing. She has worked with hundreds, maybe thousands, of students in her over thirty-year career as a community college writing teacher at Skyline College and as a private workshop instructor. Katharine has published seven collections of poetry, the most recent, Deconfliction, in 2020, and a full-length volume of poems, Jazz & Other Hot Subjects, in 2016. Her poetry and nonfiction have been published widely in literary journals, newspapers, magazines, and anthologies. Her travel essay Delle Donne appeared in Best Women’s Travel Writing 2016 and a personal essay, Blue Flags & Painted Crosses, is forthcoming from Sonora Review in Tucson.
- Live Zoom Meeting: Tuesday, April 06, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Tuesday, April 13, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Tuesday, April 20, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Tuesday, April 27, 6:30pm-9:00pm
- Live Zoom Meeting: Tuesday, May 04, 6:30pm-9:00pm
I found Katharine's teaching style empathetic and helpful. She was always about improving, no matter what level we were at.
I think Katharine is a great teacher. She gives everyone respectful, individual attention. She lets everyone have their own opinion and encourages us to listen to each other with the same empathy.