Course Catalog

Building Characters from Real Life

Introductory/Intermediate. Characters are what sell a story and transform it into a living, breathing representation of human experience. In this generative class, we’ll discuss strategies for building nonfiction characters from the raw material of real life. We’ll practice representing ourselves and others as characters through scenes, telling details, and quotes, and we’ll discuss the techniques of masters like Susan Orlean, Isabel Wilkerson, Tracy Kidder, and Lane DeGregory. Students will draft a character-driven story and a pitch of a feature, profile, or essay.

Due to COVID-19, all classes will take place online-either through Zoom or through Wet Ink, our asynchronous learning platform-through Spring quarter 2021.

All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Instructor: Madeline Ostrander

Class Type: 6 Sessions

Start Date: 04/17/2017

No Class On: 5/8/2017, 5/29/2017

End Date: 06/05/2017

Days of the Week: Monday

Time: 7:10 pm – 9:10 pm PDT

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 15

$265.50 Member Price:
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$295.00 General Price:

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Madeline Ostrander

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.

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