Creating Compelling Characters (with Kira Rockwell) - ONLINE
In this class, we'll unlock the toolbox for Creating Compelling Characters. Each session will include a handful of engaging writing prompts, out of the box exercises, analysis of character driven works, light group discussion, as well as the opportunity to share your work and receive constructive, writer centered, feedback. We will craft characters from the inside out by crafting the outside shells, inner cores, relationships, and motives in order to keep characters active in the story and their ultimate transformation. This class is designed for writers of literary or genre fiction, playwrights, and screenwriters. Writers at any level will gain a deeper understanding of how to craft character and come away with an invigorated approach to their writing. Feedback (during optional sharing) is rooted in the Liz Lerman Critical Response which begins with asking responders, "what stands out to you?" after which, the writer asks one or two questions to the group so that feedback serves the writer's goals and lessens the occurrence of harmful critique. All levels. Limited to 10 writers.
WHEN: 4 Weeks: Wednesdays, April 5 - 26 (6 - 8pm EST)
WHERE: Online, via Zoom video conference
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
KIRA ROCKWELL is a neurodiverse playwright and educator. She is an Artist Fellow in Dramatic Writing with the Mass Cultural Council, a Recipient of Judith Royer Excellence in Playwriting Award, an Elliot Norton Nominee, and more. Selected plays include OH TO BE PURE AGAIN (Actor's Express); THE TRAGIC ECSTASY OF GIRLHOOD (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre); and WITH MY EYES SHUT (Original Works Publishing). Her work has been developed with The Kennedy Center, National New Play Network, Great Plains Theatre Commons, among others. Commissions with Ensemble Studio Theatre and Moonbox Productions. BFA in Theatre Performance from Baylor University. MFA in Playwriting from Boston University. As an educator, Rockwell has taught at Brandeis University, Wheaton College, and centers across New England. Before graduate school, Rockwell worked at the intersection of mental health and arts education. Through a trauma-informed, healing-centered lens, she aims to nurture communal spaces that disrupt passivity and empower agency. www.kirarockwell.com
- Equip writers with practical methods to craft compelling characters.
- Learn how to embrace character driven writing.
- Practice giving and receiving constructive feedback.
- Strengthen close reading skills to see techniques other writers use to craft effective characters.
- Grow in confidence with writing dialogue, world building, and the magic that is writing. Leave with an invigorated to get back to the page.
WEEKLY COURSE OUTLINE
WEEK ONE: Outside the Shell
We’ll begin by tuning into speech patterns, breath, movement, nonverbal, physical attributes, and the overall essence of a character when they enter the room.
WEEK TWO: Inside Core
This week we’ll go inward to define character motive, needs, wants, fears, wounds, aspirations, drive, and the guttural viscera that leads your character. Who is this character when no one else is around?
WEEK THREE: Relationships
Siblings, enemies, lovers–you name it– acutely defined relationships are the support beams of a compelling character. We will look to history, status, and unlock how each relationship shows the audience a side of the character they didn't already know.
WEEK FOUR: Transformation
We will end by learning techniques to keep characters active. By going after what they want and need, and making choices, pivots, and carve out new paths to get it. It is through this pursuit that characters change. You'll learn how to give your characters permission to try something new, feel their emotions, fail, in order to rise up, and come out the other side transformed.
RECEIVING THE ZOOM LINK: For one-day workshops, we send out the link to attend the Zoom session 1 - 2 days before the event, via email. For multi-week workshops, you should receive info and the link about a week before the first meeting. Please mark your calendars and look for our emails. If you don't see the email in your inbox on the day before the event (or a few days before, in the case of multi-week workshops), please check your spam and junk mail folders (and search all folders) for an email from email@example.com. We have found that very often our emails end up in those folders. This is based on your own email settings, and you can prevent this by adding our email as a contact.
ONLINE SESSIONS happen remotely, via Zoom video conference. All you need is a laptop, computer, or phone with functioning audio and a webcam. Those who RSVP receive directions and a link to "join" the session via email (please see above note about receiving the Zoom link). All online instructors will log on to the video conference 10 minutes before the start of the session, to help anyone with technical issues, so please plan to log on early if you'd like assistance! We'll do everything in our power to help you get comfortable with this new format, though when the session begins, we will not be able to assist with technical difficulties.
REFUND & CREDIT POLICIES AT PVWW
If you withdraw from a workshop ten days or more before the start of the class: You'll receive full credit toward another workshop OR a full refund. If you withdraw from a workshop nine days before the start of the class up until 48 hours before: You'll receive a refund minus 20%. If you withdraw from a workshop less than 48 hours before the start of a class or after the class has begun: We are not able to offer you credit toward another class or any refund, unless in the case of a medical emergency, or if we are able to fill your spot. If you are absent on the day of your workshop or miss it for any reason, we are unable to offer any kind of refund. If we have to cancel a class for any reason, you will receive a full refund, or if you choose, credit in the amount of your payment, to be used for any future PVWW class. Anyone who does not specify whether they would like a refund or a credit for a cancelled class will automatically be refunded. Please contact Joy (firstname.lastname@example.org) for all matters concerning credit and refunds.