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An editor once told Ephron that when she reads a manuscript for a novel, she’s looking for a compelling protagonist who will anchor the story. The writer needs to make the reader care about what happened to that character before the book opens and what’s going to happen to that character after the book ends. The journey from beginning to the novel’s ending should be transformational so that the protagonist is changed in some fundamental way.
In this workshop, participants work on building a compelling main character using a range of tools—description, dialogue and internal dialogue, settings, and above all back story. Over the course of the workshop, participants define their protagonist and practice various ways of showing that character to the reader. We’ll discuss best practices and analyze excerpts from published novels. Participants will work on writing exercises, applying writing techniques to their own work, and share feedback.
Meet Your Instructor
New York Times bestselling author Hallie Ephron, Edgar Award finalist and five-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, writes books she hopes readers can’t put down. Ephron is also a book reviewer, journalist, and writing teacher.
Participants should have an idea for a work of commercial fiction—a novel or short story—along with at least a rough outline or short synopsis.