When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters.
A character is a caricature.
During this intensive 4-hour workshop we will read various examples of successful characters in literary fiction and analyze what it is that makes them stand out. We will also discuss different ways of understanding character in literature, going beyond the typical “hero+motivation” formula. Can a character be consistently inconsistent? Can she be intentionally flat? Can he be inanimate? How do our characters reflect on our book as a whole?
Furthermore, we will learn about the various tools writers can use to bring their characters to life: from the more obvious ones like dialogue and description, to the more nuanced approach in style and voice. Finally, in order to put all this theory into practice, participants will be given creative prompts to write exercises in class and give feedback to their peers.
Saturday, November 24th
10 – 11 // Character or Caricature: Close-reading and analysis of different excerpts from literary fiction which will be provided in class. We will look at how some of the greatest writers in history managed to create exceptional characters using very different tools.
11 – 12 // Palette Generator: An overview of the different tools we will be using when creating characters, such as voice, point of view, description, juxtaposition, etc. We will also be reviewing and destroying some of the myths usually perpetuated in creative writing. We will discuss which guidelines can be useful, and which to take with a pinch of salt. Each story makes its own rules and, although there are some useful tips for avoiding rookie mistakes, the creation of your character will depend solely on the story/novel you want to write.
12-12:30 // Coffee/snack break
12:30 – 14:30 // Writing Workshop: You will be given different props to write short pieces in class. Participants will be expected to 1. get entirely out of their comfort zone; 2. use some of the tools previously discussed; 3. feel free to steal from the great ones and 4. give feedback to their peers.
Who is this workshop for?
- Writers, both emerging and published, either working on a first draft, or revising already written material;
- Writers suffering from a temporary block — here’s a fun way to rekindle your inspiration and get you to do some actual writing;
- Artists from various fields looking for a creative boost;
- Anyone who would like to spend their Saturday improving their English in a fun and creative way. You don’t have to be a professional writer to join us! No previous experience is necessary.
What level of English do I need to participate?
If you are comfortable following a lecture in English and having a conversation with a small group of people, you will be fine. You are encouraged to write the exercises in English: nobody will punish you for grammar mistakes, we are here to discuss literature! However, if you’re more comfortable doing the exercises in Spanish or Catalan, feel free to say so when you apply for the course!
I already have a project under way. Can I discuss it in class?
During the first part of our workshop, we will introduce ourselves and share writing experience and doubts when it comes to literary characters. You are welcome to share your thoughts, as long as it fits the workshop description. However, if you’re looking for a writing class where you can discuss your project in depth, make sure to check our ongoing writing programs here.
For any other questions or doubts, feel free to write directly to firstname.lastname@example.org