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All Levels | Characters are what sell a story, turning an abstract idea into a living, breathing representation of human experience. In nonfiction, writers build characters from the messy material of real life. In fiction, writers often draw on real people in order to develop convincing characters. In this generative class, you’ll explore techniques for rendering real people as characters through scenes, dialogue, and telling details. You’ll learn strategies from nonfiction and journalism for digging into the thoughts, habits, quirks, and substance of characters.
Madeline Ostrander’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Sun Magazine, Audubon Magazine, The Nation, Al Jazeera America, and High Country News. She is a full-time freelance science and environmental writer and the former senior editor of YES! Magazine.