Building Interiority in Characters: Writing Memory with Karen E. Bender, a Zoom Seminar on Wednesday, May 8th, 2024
Live Seminar Via Zoom Wednesday, May 8th, 2024
**Note: no recording will be available for this class.**
The class will meet 7PM - 9:00PM EST
Taught by Karen E. Bender, author of two collections; Refund, which was a Finalist for the National Book Award, shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Story Prize, and Longlisted for the Story prize, and The New Order, which was Longlisted for the Story prize. A new collection is forthcoming. Her novels are Like Normal People and A Town of Empty Rooms. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Ploughshares, Zoetrope, The Yale Review, The Harvard Review, Story, Guernica, and others, have been reprinted in Best American Short Stories and Best American Mystery stories and won three Pushcart prizes.
Get to know Karen in our Meet the Teaching Artist series.
Building a character’s interiority consists of many elements, including a character’s memory. How do you use a character’s memories to help build their interior world?
In this generative seminar, we will look at stories by Tillie Olsen, Tobias Wolff, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Anthony Veasna So to see how they incorporate character’s processing of the past into their stories, building a character’s interiority through what they choose to remember of the past, and how memories connect to action.
We will spend the first hour discussing the stories and the second-hour doing writing exercises.
- Through close reading of stories, learn different ways that writers use memories as a way to access the interior worlds of their characters
- Learn how memory connects with action in stories.
- Develop a character through memory via writing prompts.
- Learn one element of interiority as a way to develop characters.
We'll review the different ways authors use memory to build interiority in a story and then write generative exercises to practice these methods. Students should come to class ready to write and will have opportunities to share work if they would like. Students will leave the class with various techniques they can use to convey interiority through character memory.
"This seminar exceeded my expectations. I loved going through the different types of story openings that exist and then seeing clear-cut examples of each from the materials that were shared in class. Karen is a fantastic facilitator!" -Alexandra Y.
"Class was excellent and exceeded my expectations. I found Karen's approach of writing an opening that set up two questions extremely valuable. Five of five stars." -Diane K.
"I though Karen gave great input on our exercises. I would highly recommend this seminar! I learned so much." -former student
"The close reading of the texts was extremely valuable. Karen is a great teacher, and I though this was a great seminar on strategies for story beginnings." -former student
"I found Karen's teaching so valuable. She dives right in and I love her style. I signed up for her other seminars after I took this one. Thank you!" -former student
"In her seminars, Karen always offer such specific techniques, which has helped me deepen my understanding of craft and benefited my writing practice. Thank you!" -former student
"Karen's class taught me invaluable writing techniques that I missed because I have a JD instead of an MFA. This was so great! Thank you, Karen!" -former student
"I loved the structure of understanding various story openings and emphasis on goals for first paragraphs. This class definitely exceeded my expectations." -former student
"It was great. I was working on a rewrite, came to the realization that I needed more interiority, saw this class, jumped on it, and I've already used some of the techniques. The concepts and ideas that were coupled with good, well-paced exercises." -former student
"This class helps all levels of writers get better access to the all-important matter of characters. Highly recommend." -former student
"What a fantastic person! I liked her style, her content, and her drive for us to get the most out of 2 hours. Karen really pointed out a fantastic technique and her enthusiasm is infectious. I just wanted more time with her!" -former student
"Exceeded expectations. Lots of content, practice, plus interaction packed into Zoom." -former student
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
- Instructor: Karen E. Bender
- Live Seminar Via Zoom on Wednesday, May 8th, 2024
- 7PM - 9PM EST
- **Note: no recording will be available for this class.**
Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this seminar.
Instructor Karen E. Bender is the author of two collections; Refund, which was a Finalist for the National Book Award, shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Story Prize, and Longlisted for the Story prize, and The New Order, which was Longlisted for the Story prize. A new collection is forthcoming. Her novels are Like Normal People and A Town of Empty Rooms. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Ploughshares, Zoetrope, The Yale Review, The Harvard Review, Story, Guernica, and others, have been reprinted in Best American Short Stories and Best American Mystery stories and won three Pushcart prizes. Her work has been read at the Selected Shorts program at Symphony Space and on Levar Burton Reads, She has taught for many highly regarded MFA programs, including the University of Iowa, Hollins University, and Warren Wilson College and currently teaches for the MFA Programs at SUNY Stony Brook and Alma College. Visit her website here.