Building Character [J. Ryan Stradal]
In fiction, character is the font of narrative. A strongly written character’s desires, behavior, and limitations create and evolve plot. Consequently, when starting a new novel or story, a writer’s knowledge of one’s primary characters interrogates and supersedes all other variables. Through a discussion of the work of Alice Munro, Dana Johnson, Paul Beatty, and Denis Johnson, this class will explore the components and utility of memorable characters. Students are urged, but not required, to bring works-in-progress or character sketches for discussion and exploration.