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Creating Fictional Characters with Personality and Presence with Johnnie Bernhard

February 15, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm CST


Wednesdays, February 15 & 22, 6:30-8:30pm, CST, via Zoom
Instructor: Johnnie Bernhard
Nonmember: $115; Member: $100; Student/Vet/Mil $75



What separates memorable characters from forgettable ones? What about a character that will make you invest in their journey or root for their downfall?

In this workshop, we will discuss what grabs a reader’s attention and draws them to a character. Writers will develop authentic fictional characters with the building blocks of character development: physical description, dialogue, and action. But we won’t stop there! We will explore the history, psychology, weaknesses, and motives that keep the reader hooked.  

The importance of the sensitive reader will be discussed as a means of reassuring appropriate cultural representation in character development.

Writers will leave the workshop with the following:

  • An understanding of the building blocks of character development
  • Techniques for fleshing out a memorable character
  • Suggestions on practicing cultural sensitivity when crafting characters different from yourself

Award-winning author Johnnie Bernhard has written four novels: A Good Girl (2017), How We Came to Be (2018), Sisters of the Undertow (2020), and Hannah and Ariela (2022). Early reviews are calling Hannah and Ariela her “best and bravest.” Johnnie’s novels focus on the family, social issues, and the human condition. She served as a 2020 TEDx speaker for the Fearless Women Series. A Good Girl (2017) was a finalist in literary fiction, Kindle Book Awards. Her second novel, How We Came to Be (2018), received the Summerlee Book Prize, HM.  Her third novel, Sisters of the Undertow (2020), was selected for discussion at the AWP  Conference, the Pat Conroy Literary Center, and the Southern Book Festival/Humanities Tennessee. Named “Best of the University Presses, 100 Books” by the Association of University Presses, it also received First Place in the Press Women of Texas Communications Contest. All her novels are in the permanent collection of the Texas Center for the Book.  Johnnie was a 2020 TEDx speaker for the Fearless Women Series. Read an interview with Johnnie Bernhard on Texas settings and universal themes. Follow Johnnie on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JABernhard



February 15, 2023
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm CST
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Mandy Lynn Lara