Class Title: Creative Characterization
Instructor: Jan Morrill
Class Term: January 7-February 18, 2019
We are not accepting any more enrollments for Jan's class; the class has started.


Shatter writer's block by coaxing your characters to tell their secrets using the creative characterization methods you'll learn in this six-week course. You may even learn something about yourself!

Class Description

A story, whether fiction or non-fiction, is seen through the eyes of a character. This class will focus on six different methods used to create well-rounded characters that will keep readers turning the pages.

At the end of this class, students will have learned to tell a story through their characters' eyes by creating multi-dimensional characters with flaws and vulnerabilities readers can relate to. Also, the methods used often reveal new story plotlines.

Instruction (including exercises and examples) will be given using YahooGroups, where participants will receive each lesson and will have the opportunity to share their writing for comments by other participants. Instructor will provide private feedback on all writing. (Note: The exercise book, Creative Characterization is available on Amazon, but will not be necessary for this course, as all coursework will be provided.)


Lessons and assignments will be provided on Monday. Assignments will be due by Thursday. Instructor will provide feedback on all writing exercises by Saturday. Participants will also have the opportunity to share with each other.
  • Unit 1: Interview Your Character
  • Unit 2: Describe a Painting or Photo
  • Unit 3: Write Letters
  • Unit 4: Write a Scene from a Different Point of View
  • Unit 5: Access Your Character's Inner Child
  • Unit 6: Internalization

Student Skills, Equipment, and Time Required

This class is for writers of all levels. Participants must be able to use email and YahooGroups with attachments.

Time Commitment: Each lesson will take 1-3 hours to complete. With most of the exercises, the more time the participant "spends with her character," the more she will learn about her character.

Tuition/Fees for this course

SCN members: $192. Non-SCN members: $240.

Instructor Bio

Jan Morrill Jan Morrill is the author of several books, including the award-winning historical fiction, The Red Kimono (University of Arkansas Press). Her stories have appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul and other anthologies. While working on the sequel to The Red Kimono, Jan teaches writing workshops and speaks about the history of the Japanese American internment. For more information, please visit her website.