Mastering Characterization to Elevate Your Writing 6-Week Zoom Workshop, Starts Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024
Class Starts Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024
Class will meet weekly via Zoom (Tuesdays, 7PM ET - 9PM ET).
Note: this class will skip the week of 4/23 and conclude on 5/14
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
Led by Nadia Uddin, a graduate of the Yale Writers’ Workshop, and the author of the novel Edison in the Hood, Winner of the 17th Annual National Indie Excellence® Award for Science Fiction, IPPY's 2023 Silver Medal in Urban Fiction, and Slice Magazine's Bridging the Gap Award.
Learn more about Nadia in our Meet the Teaching Artist series.Characterization is an essential literary tool of writing a novel or short story and is the foundation of all great literature. Mastering characterization can help you drive the plot forward and develop a world that engrosses the reader.
In this 6-week course, we’ll examine the literary devices used to develop characters--such as setting, narration, dialogue, interaction, and interiority--and also study how to combine indirect and direct characterization to create characters that are interesting and realistic (and not necessarily likable).
Along with studying some of the greatest characters in literature, we’ll also look at examples from screenwriters, actors, and playwrights to understand alternative methods to develop characters. Lastly, we’ll discuss how to create diverse characters with sensitivity and accuracy.
Writers will participate in exercises for character development and will workshop a short story that will use character as plot. Participants will leave the course with a keen understanding of characterization and a starting point to develop a character for a novel or short story.
- Writers will leave the course with a keen understanding of the literary tools for characterization.
- Writers will develop a character for a novel or short story.
- Confidence to develop diverse characters.
- Workshop a short story that will use character as plot.
SELECTED COURSE TEXTS:
- Excerpts from Yiyun Li's Where Reasons End
- Excerpts from Toni Morrison's Sula
- Excerpts from Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping
- Excerpts from John Williams' Stoner
- A selection of craft articles
Students will be given a writing prompt to inspire a character for a short story and will prepare a writing sample to workshop in class.
Week 2: Dialogue. Writers use dialogue to introduce new concepts, characters, and conflict. While dialogue provides valuable information to the reader, we’ll analyze the fine line between using dialogue to enhance characterization rather than using dialogue to explain the plot or scene. Students will share their first piece. Fellow students will examine each other’s work, focusing on how the writer incorporated narration, dialogue, interaction, and interiority.
Week 3: Setting. Setting—the where and when of the narrative action—creates a believable world for the characters to pursue their goals. We’ll discuss how setting brings the reader deeper into the emotional core of a character. Students will share their next piece for an in-class workshop.
Week 4: Point of View. We’ll review the numerous ways to employ point of view in fiction with an overview of the basics of this literary device. Students will share their next piece for an in-class workshop.
Week 5: The subtext. How to create deep and nuanced humanity on the page through subtext We’ll examine ways to amplify your characters’ subtext In-class workshop: students will bare down their writing samples to incorporate subtext.
Week 6: Final Workshop. Students will workshop their final piece.
"Nadia offered thoughtful and detailed feedback on my manuscript through a writing workshop at Catapult. I appreciated her commitment to the writing group." --Krista D.
"Nadia's class exceeded my expectations in every way. I loved the class discussion and the in-class writing assignments. These were so valuable!" -Kim B.
"Nadia is a committed instructor, who has helped me tremendously to build my creative writing skills. She focuses both on developmental edits of my work but also provides additional resources I can study to help me in my writing journey. She's always available and makes me feel like she's invested in my personal growth." -- Sana S.
"I received great feedback from Nadia in a writing workshop at The Center of Fiction." - Michelle R.
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
This class meets weekly via Zoom. Come prepared for a super fun class with live interaction on Zoom each week and plenty of writing, reading, and talking!
- Instructor: Nadia Uddin
- Class Starts Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024
- Class will meet weekly via Zoom (Tuesdays, 7PM ET - 9PM ET).
- Note: this class will skip the week of 4/23 and conclude on 5/14
Instructor Nadia Uddin is the author of the novel Edison in the Hood, Winner of the 17th Annual National Indie Excellence® Award for Science Fiction, IPPY's 2023 Silver Medal in Urban Fiction, and Slice's Bridging the Gap Award. Nadia is a graduate of Yale Writers’ Workshop. She resides in Brooklyn with her family and is working on her second novel.