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"Creating Protagonists Your Readers Will Follow" with Chaitali Sen

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St. Edward's University, Trustee Hall 303
3001 S. Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78704

9/23/2017 From 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Online registration for this class has closed. You can pay admission at the door with a check for the walk up rate - $59 for members and $119 for nonmembers - as long as seats are available. Thank you!

$49 for members (sign in for member pricing)


Does your book have too many protagonists?

Does it have one main character, but it feels underdeveloped?

When we open a book, a strong protagonist compels us to get in the proverbial car and go on a journey with them. How do we create protagonists that make us get in the car and stay in the car?

A protagonist is a leading character in your work, the person or people whose story you're telling. Your protagonists don't have to be likable, but they do need to be compelling. How does the writer achieve that? What tools do writers have to facilitate an emotional relationship between your readers and your characters? In this class we will talk about some of the common pitfalls of characterization in modern fiction and memoir, look at examples of unforgettable protagonists, and work on some writing exercises that will help you develop protagonists who can really be in the driver's seat of your story.

In this class, participants will learn to commit to one or two main characters, to be hard on those characters, to acknowledge their contradictions, and to give them rich interior lives and ways to act out.



  • You're writing a novel, stories, or a memoir.
  • You want to develop your main character to be as compelling as possible.



Chaitali Sen is the author of The Pathless Sky, published by Europa Editions in 2015. Born in India and raised in New York and Pennsylvania, she currently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and stepson. Her short stories, reviews, and essays have appeared in New England Review, New Ohio Review, Colorado Review, The Aerogram, Los Angeles Review of Books, and other journals. Formerly an elementary school teacher, she has developed writing workshops for children, adolescents, and adults in Boston, New York, and Austin. She is a graduate of the Hunter College MFA program in Fiction.



St. Edward's University, Trustee Hall 303. You can find a St. Edward's University campus map here.



$49 members (sign in for member pricing)

$109 nonmembers

Before purchasing, please read all policies as noted below and on our Classes page.

Online registration will close at the end of Thursday, September 21. After that you can pay admission at the door with a check for the walk up rate - $59 for members and $119 for nonmembers - as long as seats are available. If your browser has difficulty with our website store, or if you prefer to mail in a check, click HERE for a class registration form. The document provides instructions on where to mail it.

Once a purchase has been made, tickets are not refundable and registration cannot be transferred to a different class or event. No exceptions will be made. If you purchase a ticket and then find you cannot attend, someone else can attend in your stead. Simply contact us at or 512-499-8914 and let us know so that we can update the class roster.



Our classes offer a combination of lecture and practical exercises, determined by the individual instructor, on focused aspects of the craft and business of writing. Your fellow participants will come from a range of writing experience, from beginners to people with MFA degrees and published books. WLT instructors, participants, and administrators all work together to create a welcoming, supportive environment.

If you haven't taken a class with us in recent years, feel free to give us a call at 512-499-8914 if you'd like to discuss whether our programming is the right fit for your needs.


This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department. Visit Austin at



Writers' League of Texas classes and workshops are also funded in part by the Texas Commission on the Arts - Investing in a Creative Texas. For more information, go to

The Writers' League of Texas would like to thank St. Edward's University for its generous support and commitment to community, ongoing education, and the arts. Visit