Craft focus: character in fiction (advanced techniques)
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW055
Duration: 2 sessions
What is the course about?
The most successful characters are those that come alive in the imagination, those so embodied it feels as though they could walk off the page into reality. For better or worse, when these characters act, things happen and readers pay attention. In this course you'll learn how to generate that power, using discussion and guided exercises to create characters that bring complexity and forward momentum to your stories. This course is a continuation from Craft focus: character in fiction, and though you do not need to have taken that course to enrol on this one, you will benefit if you have created characters you would like to develop further.
Students say: "I've gained a good grasp of the essentials needed when focusing on character and character-driven narratives"; "I loved the exercises and the handouts"; "I feel thoroughly engaged and inspired to write"; "Fabulous!" .
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- Creating complex characters
- Managing a large cast
- Character as structure, subtext, and tone
- Counterpointed characterisation.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Develop 'round' and 'flat' characters and understand their relative importance in fiction
- Experiment with different types of character arc
- Create characters with complex motivations
- Understand the challenges of managing a large cast of characters.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is a continuation from Craft focus: character in fiction, suitable for those with some experience of writing fiction. Experience as an avid reader of fiction is essential. It will benefit you if you have already begun developing characters as part of a work-in-progress.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will explore examples of successful characters and character development in tutor-led discussion, practise your skills in guided writing exercises, and share your work to receive constructive feedback.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day, regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no associated costs. Bring a pen and notebook.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Collect the other Craft Focus courses on offer to give key elements of your writing the special attention they deserve. Or, why not try one of our term-long fiction courses? You may also enjoy a Reading for writers course, or the Craft of fiction reading and writing group. There are lots of options to develop your fiction available via the online prospectus. If you need help finding the right one, just give us a call!
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
Gerry Byrne's crime novel, Ruby, is published by Victor Gollancz and her poetry and short stories have appeared in many magazines. She received a London Arts Board bursary for her work-in-progress, Survivors. She is currently working on a non-fiction guide to novel writing, Writing with Both Hands.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.