Angela Rydell, MFA, has taught creative writing through UW-Madison Continuing Studies since 2006. Read more.
Who this course is for
- All levels of writers, beginning through advanced.
- Novel and short story writers.
- Professional or aspiring writers, creative writing teachers, English majors, etc.
This is a noncredit, online writing class through UW-Madison Continuing Studies.
Take your characters to dinner
Write an effective character profile and bring your characters to life! And bring your short story or novel to life as well in this one-on-one, email course with a professional mentor.
How to write a character sketch
The units of this online course are specifically designed to help you create an effective character profile.
Choose the level that fits your needs.
Embark on a lively email journey through the elements of character development. Written assignments for Level 1 (7 units) and Level 2 (11 units) take beginning to advanced writers through character revelation, dialogue, plot, point of view, and setting, and onward to your first story or novel. Your instructor, Angela Rydell, provides professional feedback on your submissions.
- Design a credible world.
- Create multi-dimensional characters to populate it.
- Capture the sound of conversation.
- Build a plot.
- Immerse your characters in conflict.
- Choose a narrator to pull it all together.
- How setting and character work hand in hand. How to add a “symbol.”
- Just enough details create reality.
- Create the texture that deepens plot and character.
- Revision tactics and tips for polishing like a pro.
- Connect with the reader: insuring credibility and plausibility.
You receive supportive, detailed, professional critiques for each exercise that will speed you onward toward writing your own novel or story with mastery. This course strengthens the skill of beginning, intermediate, and advanced writers. Work at your own pace and take up to a year to finish this course.
Angela Rydell, MFA, has taught creative writing through UW-Madison Continuing Studies since 2006. Programs include Write-by-the-Lake Writer's Workshop & Retreat, School of the Arts at Rhinelande, Writers' Institute, and Weekend with Your Novel. She has also taught at Edgewood College and in the national program "Senior Summer School," been a poet-in-residence in elementary schools, and is the lead judge for the 2010 Wisconsin People & Ideas poetry contest. She is a recipient of Poets & Writers' Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. Her work has appeared in Poets & Writers, The Sun, Alaska Quarterly, Prairie Schooner, Beloit Poetry Journal, Crab Orchard Review, and other journals.
"I ...found Angela's interest and enthusiasm for the subject to be contagious." ~ Beth Schneir, Madison, WI
"Angela Rydell is a gifted teacher... She shares her enthusiasm and knowledge openly and honestly." ~ Marie Tonnon, Green Bay, WI
Angela's teaching is "clear and exact and inspiring!" ~Joan Neibauer, Madison,WI
Choose one of these options:
- Level 1: Take the first 6 units or chapters, plus one chapter of your choice from chapters 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Registration fee is only $135. Earn 1.0 Continuing Education Unit.
- Level 2: Take all 11 units for an intermediate/advanced, thorough exploration of the broad spectrum of elements that go into writing novels and short stories. Fee is $175. Earn 2.0 Continuing Education Units. Register any time.
The course textbook Take Your Characters to Dinner is available from the University Bookstore, Madison, WI, (608-257-3784), the publisher (1-800-462-6420), or through major book retailers for $24.50 (plus shipping/handling when applicable).
How to register
Online: Register now online with our secure server.
Mail: Print and mail our registration form.
Telephone: Call 608-262-2451 or toll-free 800-725-9692 to register. Our phone is answered M-F, 7:00 am-4:30 pm Central Time. At other times please leave a message, and we will return your call.
Your contact for more information about "Take Your Characters to Dinner" is Laura Kahl, 608-262-3982, firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact your instructor, Angela Rydell, at email@example.com.
For more information about online learning contact Lori O'Neill at 608-263-6322 or toll-free 877-336-7836 or email LSAonline@dcs.wisc.edu.
Also of interest
Explore other online writing classes.
The same writing staff that bring you these great online classes also provide individualized writing critique services. Learn more by visiting our writing critique services web page.
Subscribe to the Writing News, our free e-mail newsletter and 3-4 times a year you will receive a detailed e-mail with information about our upcoming writing programs, and news about student achievements or opportunities for writers. To subscribe send a blank firstname.lastname@example.org.