50 Rude Questions to Get to Know Your Characters

2022 September | Craft

WHEN: September 1, 2022 – September 30, 2022 via GroupsIO

Course Description:

Which would you choose? A picture of your protagonist? Or her story about burying her dog in the neighbor’s yard at midnight? Which would tell you more about her?

Probably the latter. Deep secrets. Painful memories. Private joys. Embarrassments. Regrets. Anonymous works of charity. These can reveal characters more than their resumes, driver’s licenses, or physical descriptions. It’s great to have all of the above, but a story, free of cliche, emerges most easily from the answers to interviews. Even if the characters lie.

This course is designed to help you learn what is deep, unexpected, and critical to how characters see themselves and how they fit in. And once you know those characters inside and out, their distinct and specific choices will be authentic and compelling. Your characters will have a greater chance of coming alive and telling you their stories.

  • Lesson 1 How to interview your characters
  • Lesson 2 The questions that tell you the most
  • Lesson 3 If you can catch your characters lying, you win
  • Lesson 4 Interviews under different situations – Drunkenness, bribery, trickery and torture
  • Lesson 5 Putting the answers to use
  • Lesson 6 Magnifying flaws – It’s not the character, it’s you
  • Lesson 7 Getting better answers from the antagonists
  • Lesson 8 Making characters you know work together or betray each other
  • Lesson 9 Summary and application to your story

About the Instructor:

Peter has worked as a speechwriter, a radio producer, an innovation consultant, and a chemist. He has had five short plays produced (two optioned for film), dozens of short stories published, and hundreds of articles in magazines and journals. He served as head writer for the Web series O’TownNY. He has attended Clarion and Bread Loaf. He was on the board of Westchester Collaborative Theater. He was head writer of their second season of O’Town NY. His blog, How to Write Fast https://howtowritefast.blogspot.com/, has half a million words of practical advice on writing productivity.