Create Brilliant Characters

Improving | Fiction
Discover the secrets of successful character creation, and try out failsafe techniques to bring your own characters to life.

Characters are at the heart of memorable fiction. Readers want to meet people they can go for a drink with or fall in love with or shout at. Characters they feel they know – or wish they knew. This four-week course helps you understand the conventions of writing characters and shows you how to create more engaging characters to keep your readers hooked. It will expand your range of techniques and challenge you to experiment with your writing.

How it works

• Fortnightly guided reading extracts, practical exercises and creative writing prompts

• Video and podcast introductions from the tutor

• Forum discussions about how you write and deadlines to get you writing

• A supportive group of fellow writers to read, discuss and feedback on your work

• Q&A forum to post your critical writing questions for your tutor

• Quiz to assess and broaden your current character-creation skills

• Carefully curated additional reading and resources so you can take your interests further

• Book club and reading diary to encourage you to explore new kinds of characters

• Opportunity to produce a 2,000-word piece of writing: this might be a short story or the opening of a novel

13th September 2021 - 10th October 2021

Availability: In stock

12 Places

Session content

Session 1: Where do great characters come from?

We look at four different ways of creating characters, studying extracts that draw on these methods and then experimenting with writing in each of the different styles. You will post some thoughts on your reading and short extracts of writing to the forum for class discussion.

Session 2: Five secrets of fantastic characters

In this session, we’ll look at how to bring characters to life on the page using description, back story, inconsistencies, reader-engagement techniques and change. You will work on one longer piece of writing in preparation for your final submission of up to 2,000 words. You might polish or rework a piece you worked on in Session 1 or develop something new based on what you’ve learned. You will post your final piece to the forum for comment from your peers.

NB: Your tutor won’t give detailed feedback on your creative work during this course but will be available to answer your questions about the process and craft of writing.

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Tom Bromley is an author, editor and ghostwriter. He has written ten books under his own name,...

"There's no point staring at a blank page waiting for inspiration to strike - to get your creative muscles working you need to start writing, reviewing and sharing your work."

Helen Shipman