Creating Characters That Reflect Our World

10/18/2020 - 11/14/2020


Charlotte Lit's Zoom Room 2

Virtual Meeting URL:


Early bird rate: $300 members; $375 non-members (includes one-year General Membership), applied automatically at checkout. It’s challenging to write fiction or nonfiction that includes characters different from you in race, gender, sexuality, or other ways. Yet representing a broader spectrum of characters offers you an opportunity to deepen your writing and create powerful work. If you’ve shied away from it for fear your characters will be flat and readers will call you out, you’re not alone. This four-week class weaves together mini-lectures, discussions, readings, and writing exercises to present four principles for crafting a vibrant, believable, diverse community of characters that truly reflect the world you’re part of. You may choose to flesh out a character you’ve already created for a work in progress or to generate new work. We’ll also touch on in-the-headlines issues such as “cultural appropriation” and “sensitivity readers.”

This studio takes place asynchronously over four weeks using the Wet Ink platform. There will be two optional live Zoom Meetings: 6–6:45 pm; Monday, October 19, and Monday, November 2.

About the Instructor: Paula Martinac is the author of five novels, including Clio Rising, Gold Medal Winner, Northeast Region, Independent Book Publishers Awards, 2020; The Ada Decades, finalist for the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction, 2018; and the Lambda Literary Award-winning Out of Time. Also a playwright, she has had plays produced in Pittsburgh, New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. She is a lecturer in fiction writing at UNC Charlotte. In 2019, she received a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts and Science Council and a Literature Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council.