Characters Who Resonate, with Bob Balmer


Characters Who Resonate, with Bob Balmer

Create vibrant and memorable characters who readers truly care about.


$95.00 (any noted materials fee included)


$125.00 (any noted materials fee included)

Tuition Assistance and Other Policies

Meeting Times
  1. Sat, 9/28/2024 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Sat, 9/28/2024

See additional date options »

Class, No Prerequisite

Writers' Studio

Craft of Writing, Fiction


Some characters are so dynamic that readers root for or against them. A provocative character can enliven both the writing and the readers.

Get help creating memorable and believable characters, which requires blending a character’s physical, emotional, and intellectual traits with their interests, passions, work, and relationships. It might include imbuing a character, as Peter De Vries did in “Different Cultural Levels Eat Here,” with a quirk or mannerism that may become the catalyst for a story. Characters who resonate, such as John Irving's characters, draw in the reader. 

This workshop will cover:

  • Character portrait vs character study.
  • Show vs tell.
  • Foreshadowing characters.
  • How to use acquaintances to develop characters.
  • How to use aspects of yourself to develop characters.
  • What will your character look like?
  • What personality and character traits will you give your characters?
  • If you want to develop a funny character, are they funny and know it, or do they react to life funny?
  • What quirks/idiosyncrasies – if any – help distinguish your characters?
  • What motivates them?
  • What does their job reveal about them?
  • Reverse outline (listing your character’s traits). 
  • Drawing your character to visualize them.


Skill level: All

Class Policies

Ages 14 and up are welcome.

BARN Policies

  • View BARN's Cancellation and Refund Policy.
  • Tuition Assistance is available. Fill out the application before registering.
  • BARN is committed to accessibility. We try to make accommodations when requested; the earlier you contact us, the more likely we can help. Please email to find out more or request an accommodation.
  • Sensory Statement: Makerspaces like BARN can be noisy and cluttered, smell strongly, and have bright or flickering lights.

Instructors or Guides

Bob Balmer

Bob Balmer’s humorous pieces, stories, and essays have appeared in Smithsonian Magazine, the Seattle Times, the Seattle Weekly, Golf Illustrated, ZYZZYVA, the Oregonian, and other print media. His work has aired on MarketPlace, the Savvy Traveler, and Oregon Public Radio Broadcasting and Television.

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