Fiction Writing: Character


Course Details

  • Location: Online
  • Duration: 9 weeks
  • Times: Evenings
  • Cost : $829

Next Start Date:

April 2, 2024

This course is part of a certificate program. You can also take it without enrolling in the program.

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About this Course

Great characters are one of the most important elements of fiction — figures who are believable, authentic, interesting and worthy of sympathy. In the first half of this course we’ll work on building character profiles, then look at how effective characters can be impacted by staging, drama and dialogue. In the second part we’ll focus on character history and subtext, their inner lives, and learn how to bring their repressed passions, needs and fears to the surface.

Designed For

All fiction writers, along with those who produce creative nonfiction.

See Requirements

What You’ll Learn

  • Keys to writing scintillating dialogue
  • The role of contradictory desires within characters
  • Methods for creating crisis moments that present characters with compelling dilemmas

Program Overview

To earn the Certificate in Writing, complete any three courses in two years or less.


You should register for all courses individually; there is no application process for the certificate program.

Learning Format

Online With Real-Time Meetings

Online With Real-Time Meetings

Combine the convenience of online learning with the immediacy of real-time interaction. You’ll stream courses online and interact with your instructors and fellow students via chat, web conferencing or phone, all in real time. Learn More »

Course Sessions

Online With Real-Time Meetings

Course Note

For the class session on April 23, 2024, students have the option to attend online or in person on UW campus for networking and project work. More information will be available once the course is underway.


Meet your instructor


You'll earn 3 continuing education units (CEUs) for successfully completing this course. Learn more about noncredit options.

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