Our characters are often how readers connect to the stories we tell.
Sometimes they take over a story, sometimes they confound us and surprise us, sometimes we write characters who are brave enough (and foolish enough) to do all the things we are too scared to do. And once we put them on the page, we both give birth to them and put them out in the world to stand on their own.
Whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, short stories, a young adult novel or a memoir, from the point-of-view of a ninety-year-old woman, small child, Cleopatra or a dog, compelling writing has compelling characters.
So how do we create characters who are memorable and authentic? Characters who move the story along or, often, become the story themselves? How do we decide what to put in the narrative and what to leave out? How do we flesh out beings interesting enough that our readers want to cheer for them, love them, hate them, even mourn them?
In this workshop, we will discuss how to bring characters to life on the page.
Specifically, we will work on:
- How to find a point-of-view for a character
- Writing authentic dialogue
- Writing historical characters (real and fictional)
- How to discern who is a narrator and who is a character in memoir and creative nonfiction pieces
- Strategies for working on a piece with multiple characters and voices
- Fleshing out static and supporting characters
- How to “show” character rather than “tell”
- Revising to create strong characters
We will look at passages from published writing and we will do small prompts and exercises to generate material and to practice revision techniques. Attendees can bring works-in-progress to experiment with if you wish.
Date: March 16, 2017
Time: 6:30PM to 9:30PM
Location: Union Bank Inn (10053 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta)
*Leading up to the workshop date, you will receive an email providing you with complete event details.
This workshop includes:
- three hours of in-class writing instruction from a published author
- online feedback of your work, up to 2,000-words
- an opportunity to meet other writers
- a well-stuffed swag bag.
Third Verb is proud to present Diana Davidson as the instructor for Developing believable characters in creative writing
Diana Davidson is a writer, reader, and lover of libraries. Her debut novel Pilgrimage (Brindle & Glass) was shortlisted for the AB Readers’ Choice Award in 2014 and spent many weeks on The Edmonton Journal bestsellers. Some of her creative nonfiction work has won the Writers Guild of Alberta Jon Whyte Memorial Essay award (“Ahead of the Ice”) and been long-listed for CBC Writes (“Luminescence”). She has been published in both 40 Below anthologies, Avenue Edmonton, Alberta Views, and The Winnipeg Review. Davidson has a Ph.D. in literature and taught at the University of Alberta for many years. She is currently the Director of the Public Library Services Branch with the Government of Alberta and was recently honoured by the Canada Council for the Arts, through the Governor General’s Literary Awards, for her work in making books available to visually impaired library users.