Take Your Characters to Dinner

Take your characters to dinner — and ask them to write your story and novel! An enjoyable and professional way to write character sketches and profiles that really work for your story.

Embark on a lively email journey through the elements of fiction. Written assignments for each unit take beginning to advanced writers through character revelation, dialogue, plot, point of view, and setting, and then on to your first story or beginning of a novel. Text: Take Your Characters to Dinner by Laurel Yourke. Option 2 includes a more in-depth exploration.

At a glance

What: Take Your Characters to Dinner

When: Start anytime, complete within 1 year

Where: Online

Cost: Option 1: 1.0 CEUs, $150 | Option 2: 2.0 CEUs, $175

Instructor: Angela Rydell

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For additional information, contact Angela Rydell: 608-262-3982

What we cover in this course

Unit Titles:

  1. Design a credible world
  2. Create multi-dimensional characters to populate it
  3. Capture the sound of conversation
  4. Build a plot
  5. Immerse your characters in conflict
  6. Choose a narrator to pull it all together
  7. How setting and character work hand in hand. How to add a “symbol”
  8. Just enough details create reality
  9. Create the texture that deepens plot and character
  10. Revision tactics and tips for polishing like a pro
  11. Connect with the reader: insuring credibility and plausibility

How the course works

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.

This course is ideal for all levels of writers, beginning through advanced, novel and short story writers, and professional or aspiring writers, creative writing teachers, English majors, and anyone looking to add depth to their characters.

Option 1: Take the first 6 units or chapters, plus one chapter of your choice from chapters 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

Option 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.


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 (plus shipping/handling when applicable).