You may have an incredible idea for a novel, but without characters to care about, readers will see your plot as just stuff that happens to imaginary strangers.
This weekend offers a wealth of discussions, workshops and practical exercises that will expand the way you think about characters you think you already know intimately. You'll learn how their pasts drive their futures, how to keep their actions and reactions in character, and how to ensure their dialogue sounds natural without being pedestrian.
The course includes a Q&A session with Kate Mosse, author of the multi-million-selling novel Labyrinth and co-founder of the Orange Prize for Fiction.
By the end of the weekend, you'll have deep understanding of what makes a strong character, along with a detailed plot outline with the potential to become – with much additional hard work, of course – a fully-fledged novel.
This is an intermediate-level course aimed at writers who already have an idea for a novel, have already started writing but are unsure how to progress, or feel their work needs more substance. The topics covered include:
- Depth of characterisation: How did your characters become those people?
- Character development: What happened to your characters in their history?
- Acting and reacting in character
- Character-driven plot: Structuring a life story
- Plot development
- Working with a complete cast list
- Natural dialogue and the rhythm of direct speech
There will also be ample time for individual feedback and Q&A.
Greg Mosse's creative writing teaching is based around the development of craft skills – well-judged sentences, paragraphs, episodes and chapters are the building blocks of good novels. He was programme leader for creative writing at West Dean College where he taught his own MA degree, validated by University of Sussex, and a wide range of short courses. He curates and teaches the Southbank Centre Creative Writing School and works in story development and consultancy for stage and screen. His knowledge of his subject comes from more than 20 years' professional experience as teacher, editor, translator and writer.
Jason Goodwin is a novelist, historian and traveller, winner of the JLR/Mail on Sunday Prize for On Foot to the Golden Horn, and of the Edgar Award for Best Novel his first Yashim mystery, The Janissary Tree. The Janissary Tree became an international bestseller. The fourth book in the series, An Evil Eye, was published in 2011 to critical acclaim, and The Baklava Club will be published on June 5th in the US and the UK. His books are translated into over forty languages. He lives in Dorset with his wife Kate and their four children.
Kate Mosse OBE is the multi million # 1 bestselling author of the Languedoc Trilogy - Labyrinth, Sepulchre & Citadel - as well as a collection of short stories, two other novels, four works of non fiction and three plays. She is Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of the Women's Prize for Fiction - previously the Orange Prize and, from 2014, the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction - and one of the authors leading the campaign against library closures in the UK. She is on the Board of the National Theatre and on the Executive Board of Women of the World arts festival. Her new novel, The Taxidermist's Daughter, will be published in the autumn.