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Engaging Characters: Getting Past Simple “Likeability/Unlikeability” and Learning How Strong Writers Break the Rules

March 16 @ 1:00 pm - March 23 @ 4:00 pm

Engaging Characters: Getting Past Simple “Likeability/Unlikeability” and
Learning How Strong Writers Break the Rules

with Andromeda Romano-Lax

Details: This virtual class will include 2 sessions:
-Saturday, March 16, 2024, 1-4pm
-Saturday, March 23, 2024, 1-4pm

Description: If the reader doesn’t care about the characters, little else matters. It’s the hardest lesson I continue to learn as a writer. I know—as maybe you do—what makes people “like” characters on the most basic level. (We’ll cover those elements—and we’ll throw in examples from memoir as well as fiction, because a memoir’s narrator is a “character” too.) But what happens when you can’t or don’t want to tick those most obvious boxes, for reasons of plot, voice, genre, theme, historical accuracy, or reasons you can’t yet explain? Through close reading, we’ll examine character behavior, interiority, and situational context. We’ll talk about what agents mean when they say they couldn’t “engage” with your characters. Together we’ll prove that “likeability” often has more to do with the writers’ craft than any character’s primary traits.

As an extra bonus, early registrants are invited to share their particular character concerns with Andromeda, who will try to include relevant examples alongside her planned lecture during Week 1. Week 2, we will workshop your short pieces in a positive, constructive spirit so that you have immediate feedback on how your fictional character or memoir narrator or is coming across.

This class is appropriate for fiction and nonfiction writers of all experience levels. Beginners welcome!

Pricing and Registration: This event is open to members and non-members.

  • Member Price: $120
  • Non-Member Price: $150

Non-member registration will open on February 15, 2024.

Scholarships: 49 Writers if offering one partial scholarship for this class to an individual who can demonstrate financial need. To apply, click here.

Instructor: Andromeda Romano-Lax is the author of five novels, including historical fiction and literary fiction with thriller and speculative elements. Her latest, The Deepest Lake, about a mother investigating the disappearance of her daughter, is a work of psychological suspense forthcoming from Soho Crime in May 2024. She has taught writing at the MFA level and is a book coach.


March 16 @ 1:00 pm
March 23 @ 4:00 pm
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