50 Rude Questions to Get to Know Your Characters

Presented by Peter Andrews

February 1 - 25, 2022
Cost:  Free for RWAOL members.  $15 for non-members.  
Public welcome.

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About This Workshop

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.

Course syllabus:
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 Presenter

Peter Andrews is a full-time, independent writer of speeches, articles, and blogs. He has dozens of short stories and hundreds of nonfiction articles in print. He has worked professionally in PR and as a Web producer, speechwriter, and radio producer. He teaches writing for the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, Westchester Community College, the Westchester Center for the Arts, and various online venues. He belongs to the National Association of Science Writers and Romance Writers of America, and he is past president of RWA’s young adult chapter (YARWA). His How to Write Fast blog can be found at http://howtowritefast.blogspot.com/.

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What You Need to Know

  • Deadline to register:  February 1, 2022.
  • You do NOT need to be a member of RWA® or RWAOL to take this class.
  • RWA® Online conducts all workshops via a discussion board system located on this website.  However, access to the site is restricted by login and password to ensure that the workshop is only available to those that are authorized to attend.  This is not an email loop workshop.
  • For questions, contact us through our contact form.