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Writing Workshops

How to Summon Characters Who Drive the Story with Debra Jo Immergut


2 Sessions

In stock

Saturday & Sunday 2:00 pm EDT - 5:00 pm EDT April 13 to April 14, 2024

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 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 to direct us into more compelling narratives. In our work together, we’ll learn to trust the innate wisdom of our players, to shower them with compassion (even when we dislike them), and best of all, to be surprised by their choices.

This intensive weekend seminar will consist of illustrated craft discussions with examples from current and classic works, generative exercises, and opportunities to share bits of writing. Fiction and nonfiction writers at any level are welcome.

Course Outline
  • Session I
    • Familiars and Unfamiliars
    • The Yearnings
    • The Troubles
    • The Portal
  • Session II
    • Strong Dialogue Made Simple
    • Character Mapping
    • Unsparing Love: The Writer’s Gaze
    • Writing Onward
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Led by

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    Debra Jo Immergut

    Debra Jo Immergut

    Debra Jo Immergut is the author of the novels You Again, named a New York Times Best of the Year and shortlisted for the Gotham Book Prize, and The Captives, an Edgar Award finalist and published in over a dozen countries. She has also published a collection of short fiction, Private Property. Her essays and stories have appeared in American Short Fiction, Narrative, the New York Times, PANK, Hobart, and elsewhere. A recipient of Michener and MacDowell fellowships, she has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and lives in western Massachusetts, where she works at Smith College.