- Multi-Week Writing Workshops
- The Art of Character Creation (with Carolyn Zaikowski) - ONLINE
The Art of Character Creation (with Carolyn Zaikowski) - ONLINE
Creating great fiction requires creating compelling, three-dimensional characters who break through clichés and stereotypes. In this class, we’ll explore questions like: What are the internal states and motivations of our characters? How does that connect to their external behaviors—how do they think, feel, and act in different situations and environments, from the mundane to the profound? What are their personal, social, and cultural histories, and what should we take into account when writing characters who come from different social or cultural groups than us? We will use a variety of in-class and at-home explorations, brainstorming exercises, small-group and large-group sharing, and guided discussions to get at these core issues. We’ll even bring our characters to life by introducing them to the group and interviewing them. Students may bring ideas from characters they're already working on; for students who don't have characters yet, prompts will be given to create some.
Estimated at-home workload: 1-2 hours per week of reading and at-home exercises.
Limited to 10 writers.
WHEN: 4 Weeks: Tuesdays, November 28 - December 19 (1 - 3pm EST)
WHERE: Online, via Zoom video conference
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR
CAROLYN ZAIKOWSKI is is the author of two hybrid novels. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared widely, in publications such as The Washington Post, The Rumpus, PANK, West Branch, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and is currently an English professor and volunteer death doula.
- To develop a sense of fundamental concepts in the craft of character
- To study how the experts approach character building
- To engage with a number of dynamic, fun character building exercises in a group of like-minded peers
- To develop a number of core tools for to apply and build on beyond the course
Week One: We’ll ask the basic questions like: What is character? Why do we need it? How do we do it?
Week Two: We’ll talk stereotypes, tropes, and writing the “Other”: Considerations for how, when, and whether to write characters outside of our identity groups.
Week Three: We’ll explore character and its fascinating relationship to other craft elements (point of view, voice, dialogue, setting, etc.)
Week Four: We’ll present our characters and interview fellow classmates’ characters!
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 3 - 5 days before. Please mark your calendars when you first register and look for our emails. If you don't see the email in your inbox on the day before the class, please check your spam and junk mail folders (and search all folders) for an email from firstname.lastname@example.org before contacting us. 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 a few minutes before the start of the session, 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 the Zoom format, though we are not able to offer technical assistance beyond basic Zoom orientation.
REFUND & CREDIT POLICIES AT PVWW
Because of non-refundable fees that we, PVWW, must pay for every transaction that happens, we are not able to give full refunds to those who register then withdraw from a workshop or class. 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 class of equal value OR a refund minus 10%. If you withdraw from a workshop nine days before the start of the class up until 48 hours before: You'll receive full credit toward another class OR a refund minus 30%. 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 a partial refund, unless in the case of a medical emergency. If we have to cancel a class for any reason, you will receive a full refund, or if you choose, a 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 within 3 months will automatically be refunded. Please contact Joy (email@example.com) for all matters concerning credit and refunds.