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DIY MFA by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Gabriela Pereira

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Chapter 9

Bring Those Characters to Life

When I first began to teach writing, I collected an arsenal of examples to show different facets of a character’s development. One day I stumbled on “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and realized that this short story is the quintessential example of bringing a character to life on the page. You can get this text as a bonus by signing up with your e-mail address at DIYMFA.com/thebook, and I strongly recommend you print it out and read it before you proceed with this chapter. (There will be spoilers. Read the story first.)

“The Yellow Wallpaper,” first published in 1891, is a fictionalized version of Gilman’s own struggles with mental illness. Its publication was met with outrage from the ...

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