Creating Compelling Characters (Summer 2020)

07/09/2020 - 08/20/2020




  • $299.00  -  General
  • $249.00  -  New Student




Sessions: 7 Thursdays
Session Dates: Jul 09, 16, 23, 30, Aug 06, 13, 20
Session Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm Central Time


Creating Compelling Characters

Jul 09 - Aug 20
6:00pm - 9:00pm Central Time

Instructor: Francine Sanders

At the heart of every great screenplay is a compelling character. A character that we care about, have empathy toward, and want to spend time with. This new 7-week course, taught by Francine J. Sanders, is a workshop-based class designed to help writers create and develop strong characters. Through exercises, writing activities, and screenings, students will learn strategies and techniques for building multi-dimensional characters that will fuel their stories and come to life on the page. Weekly sessions will focus on characterization, dialogue, world-building and workshopping in a small, collaborative environment. Students will also learn the basics of screenplay format and visual storytelling. At the end of the class, students will have a draft of a short character-driven script and a reservoir of characters and story ideas for future development.

Francine J. Sanders is a Chicago-based screenwriter, journalist and educator. She is an adjunct professor in Columbia College’s Cinema&Television Arts department, and also teaches film studies and humanities courses for lifelong learners in Oakton Community College’s Emeritus Program. Francine’s essays and articles have been published in The Chicago Reader, TriQuarterly magazine, and Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy. She is the recipient of a Driehaus Foundation writing grant and is a six-time recipient of a writer’s residency at the Ragdale Foundation. “Behind the Wall,” the podcast she co-created for the non-profit Injustice Watch was named a 2017 finalist for the Peter Lisagor Award for Exemplary Journalism. Francine has a MA in film studies from Northwestern University. She is currently developing a series of shorts inspired by her many years as a CTA rider, and a TV project based on her work as an investigator of police brutality complaints for the Chicago Police Department.

Classes will be held via Zoom. Instructors will send out Zoom invites one day before class begins. We encourage students to setup a Zoom account for themselves before class if they have not already to ensure when class begins you are able to jump straight into the art!

Sessions/Weekday 7 Thursdays
Session Dates

Jul 09, 16, 23, 30
Aug 06, 13, 20

Time 6:00pm - 9:00pm Central Time