How to Create Compelling Characters – with Edmund Gordon
How can you ensure you’ve created a truly compelling, interesting and authentic protagonist? How do you avoid writing two-dimensional secondary characters – and create a strong antagonist without cliché or caricature? And perhaps most importantly of all: how can you ensure that what you’re writing is held together by subtle, convincing character development?
Even more than plot, narrative voice, dialogue and setting, a character has the potential to make your novel truly memorable. But it isn’t always easy to create complex and unique characters, let alone make their development throughout the book satisfying and compelling. In this masterclass, award-winning author and creative writing tutor Edmund Gordon will teach you how to avoid the pitfalls that writers can fall into when approaching character. He will examine with you how some of the most brilliant, true-to-life characters have been created. And finally, he will share with you his own experience of writing a book that was at its heart a complex character study – and getting it published, to critical acclaim and prestigious awards.
Date: 23rd January 2018
Location: LIBRARY, Covent Garden, London
Book now – only ten places available
To be great, a book requires convincing and compelling characters – whether fiction or non-fiction, short story or novel, history, biography or political commentary. For a story to ring true, capture its reader’s imagination and give a compelling feeling of movement and plot, an author must be able to have evoked all the subtleties, complexities and contradictions of its characters – as well as their emotional development. But how can you make sure your characters are rounded and alive? How can you avoid looking from the outside in, creating flat, ‘stock’ characters? How can you capture subtly their innermost motivations? Can you write from a character’s perspective that isn’t your own? And are you ‘allowed’ to have an unlikable protagonist?!
Whether your work is densely or sparsely populated, its protagonist hero or anti-hero, this two-hour masterclass will equip you with techniques to identify and create different types of character and modes of character development. You will learn practical methods and techniques to help you master how to create compelling, believable and memorable characters.
The masterclass is small and personal – just ten writers including you – allowing you a genuine opportunity to learn how to plot your characters, whether you’re writing a novel, short story, memoir, or other non-fiction. You will have the chance to discuss with an award-winning author, reviewer and critic the finer points of creating an engaging, engrossing and unputdownable book.
- The basic principles of character – for fiction and non-fiction alike
- How a really strong character can carry a story
- How to get to know your character instinctively
- Tips on self-editing to ensure your characters’ development is integral to the plot
- Examples of truly memorable characters in literature
- Writing techniques that you can apply to your own work
- Practical writing exercise (with no compulsion to share with the class!)
- Final Q&A*
*the class is interactive and there will be many opportunities for discussion, throughout.
About your tutor:
Edmund Gordon was born in 1982. He studied philosophy at Trinity College Dublin and modern literature at University College London. Since 2011 he has taught literature and creative writing at King’s College London.
His first book, The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography, was published in 2016. It won the Somerset Maugham Award and the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award, and was selected as a Book of the Year in the Guardian, Observer, Financial Times, Spectator, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times.
Edmund’s essays and reviews have appeared in a wide variety of publications, including the Financial Times, Guardian, Independent, London Review of Books, New Statesman, Observer, Spectator, Sunday Times and Times Literary Supplement.
Apply now for the Ink Academy Writing Course
Applying to the Ink Academy Writing Course is quick and simple. Just upload a sample of your writing below, along with your name and email address, and we will be in touch with enrolment details.
The sample of your writing does not need to be polished or perfect, or even from the work you want to develop on the course. It is just so that we can ensure our course is best placed to help you. For more details, please see our FAQs.