Saving Face: The Old-Fashioned Art of Physical Description and How to Make it New

Regular $70.00
Member $63.00
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Open to All Levels
Online—Live Meeting
Number of Sessions
Day of the Week
Single Session
Class Fiction Genre Rectangle

It can feel old-fashioned or even trite to make much use of physical description. Yet contemporary writers can use it to great effect, enhancing characterization, increasing subtext, and creating a sense of physicality that powerfully compels the narrative. Beyond that, readers like to picture characters! So how do we employ physical description without becoming cliché or sentimental? More importantly, how do we avoid basing our physically described characters on tired or even oppressive stereotypes?

Through study of sample texts (likely to include work by Maud Casey, Angela Flournoy, Kiese Laymon, and Monique Truong), in-depth discussion, and concrete exercises, we'll uncover the complicated relationship that human beings have with faces, bodies, and anything else (clothes, jewelry, body modifications, expression, gesture, etc.) that has to do with physical appearance. We'll also write some physical descriptions of our own, with practice integrating them in dynamic scenes.

Instructions for Accessing This Online Class

In order to access live class meetings, you must have the Zoom application downloaded to your computer. You will also need a WiFi/Internet connection throughout the duration of your scheduled meeting and a computer with audio and video capability. The information to join your Zoom classroom will be provided in your confirmation email upon registration. Please check spam folders if you do not see this email upon registration. For more information on how to use Zoom, please see our training manual here.

Some classes use a supplemental Google Classroom page. Should your teaching artist use Google Classroom, you will be invited to join the classroom via email at least 24 hours in advance of your class (check spam folders if you are not seeing this invitation). Please note that Google Classroom requires a Gmail address to access the Classroom. If you do not have a Gmail account, the email invitation will be sent to the email address we have on file and will prompt you to create a free account or enter an existing account to join the classroom. If we are unable to send an email invitation to your non-gmail account, you will be contacted by a staff member to provide a Gmail address. If you do not have a Gmail account, you can create a free account here. Should you have concerns about this, please contact a Loft staff member at or 612-379-8999. For more information on how to use Google Classroom, please see our training manual here.