Character Development: Summoning Compelling Players Who Drive Story with Debra Jo Immergut
Saturday & Sunday 12:00 pm EDT - 3:00 pm EDT October 22 to October 23, 2022
Online via Zoom
It’s the writer’s most godlike act: the conjuring of complex characters who feel as real and known as anyone we really know—or more so. During this weekend, we’ll begin as gods. We’ll explore a variety of tactics for breathing the spark of life into our creations. Then we’ll turn these complicated people into our partners, allowing them direct us into more compelling narratives. William Faulkner makes it sound simple: “It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up.” It’s probably not that simple, but over two days of work together, we’ll get our characters up on their feet and moving. We’ll begin to know their headaches and heartaches. We’ll learn to trust their innate wisdom, to shower them with compassion (even when we dislike them), and best of all, to be surprised by their choices. The bootcamp will consist of generative exercises, illustrated craft talk with examples, discussion, and opportunities to share bits of work. Fiction and nonfiction writers welcome.
Debra Jo Immergut
Debra Jo Immergut
Debra Jo Immergut is the author of You Again (Ecco/HarperCollins), a New York Times Best of 2020 and a finalist for the 2021 Gotham Book Prize. Her 2018 novel The Captives (Ecco/HarperCollins) was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Debut Novel and published in over a dozen countries worldwide. Her short fiction collection, Private Property, was published by Random House. Her stories, essays, and journalism have appeared in American Short Fiction, Narrative, the New York Times, PANK, the Wall Street Journal, and Hobart, among others. A recipient of Michener and MacDowell fellowships, she loves to work with other writers and has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
By Debra Jo Immergut
By Debra Jo Immergut
Published by HarperCollins
Abigail Willard first spots her from the back of a New York cab: the spitting image of Abby herself at age twenty-two—right down to the silver platforms and raspberry coat she wore as a young artist with a taste for wildness. But the real Abby is now forty-six and married, with a corporate job and two kids. As the girl vanishes into a rainy night, Abby is left shaken. Was this merely a hallucinatory side effect of working-mom stress? A message of sorts, sent to remind her of passions and dreams tossed aside? Or something more explosive and life-altering?
As weeks go by, Abby continues to spot her double around her old New York haunts—and soon, despite her better instincts, Abby finds herself tailing her look-alike. She is dogged by a nagging suspicion that there is a deeper mystery to figure out, one rooted far in her past. All the while, Abby’s life starts to slip from her control: her marriage hits major turbulence, her teenage son drifts into a radical movement that portends a dark coming era. When her elusive double presents her with a dangerous proposition, Abby must decide how much she values the life she’s built, and how deeply she knows herself.
You Again is an audaciously constructed novel, an unboxing of memory, desire, and regret—and an electrifying portrait of a woman hurtling toward a key crossroads in her life, where a secret lies buried like an undetonated bomb.
About this series
We strive to make our classes the most inviting and rewarding available, offering an intimate environment to study with award-winning, world-class writers. Each class is specially designed by the instructor, so whether you’re a fledgling writer or an MFA graduate polishing your novel, you’ll find a perfect fit here.
Born Freaks: A Katherine Dunn Reading Group with Naomi Huffman (Featuring Special Guests!)
3 Sessions Tuesdays, 6:30 pm EDT - 8:00 pm EDT October 4 to November 8, 2022
The Wings of the Dove: A Henry James Reading Group with Sheridan Hay
Once a week Thursdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT October 6 to October 27, 2022
Birds of Different Feathers: Writing And/As/About Resistance with Eraldo Souza dos Santos$150
Friday - Sunday October 7 to October 9, 2022
World and Languages: Writing About Languages, Travels, and Immigration with Jenna Tang$295
Once a week Wednesdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 9:00 pm EDT October 12 to November 2, 2022
The Other Side of the Coin: Dystopia and Utopia in Short Fiction with Jacqueline Ahl$90
Thursdays, 7:00 pm EDT - 8:30 pm EDT October 13 to November 10, 2022
Italo Calvino and the Natural World with Antonio Romani
Once a week Saturdays, 12:00 pm EDT - 1:30 pm EDT October 15 to November 19, 2022
Members Only: The LiterariansFree
Wednesday, 12:30 pm EDT - 1:30 pm EDT October 19, 2022
Narrative Cartographies with Dianca London Potts$125
Saturday, 2:00 pm EDT - 6:30 pm EDT October 22, 2022
The Great Fire: A Shirley Hazzard Reading Group with Sheridan Hay (Sold Out)
Once a week Tuesdays, 6:00 pm EDT - 7:30 pm EDT November 8 to November 29, 2022
Storytelling and Place with Omer Friedlander$150
Friday - Sunday November 11 to November 13, 2022
Writing the Apocalypse with Dianca London Potts$125
Saturday, 2:00 pm EDT - 6:30 pm EDT November 12, 2022