A masterclass in characterisation with Sophie Mackintosh

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Event description
The Booker-nominated author of The Water Cure and Blue Ticket leads this masterclass in creating compelling characters and dialogue.

About this Event

What makes an effective character study? Why do some characters feel so authentic that you remember them like an old friend, and relate to others as total strangers? Is it because they are familiar or remote, their lives feel lived-in, or their dialogue fizzes off the page? Do they act strangely, or secretly, or are they the funniest person in the room?

The most unforgettable characters are, to put it simply, those who have been written well. Whether we like them or hate them, they feel real to us, and if you want your future piece of creative writing to connect with your readers, your characters need to be fully fleshed out.

In this virtual writing masterclass with Sophie Mackintosh, the Booker-nominated author of The Water Cure and Blue Ticket, you will unpack what makes a character compelling, and how to bring depth and complexity to their backstories and behaviour in ways that ensure your story shimmers with captivating moments. You will also learn about how to get to know the core of your characters, and how to use their motivations to steer your narrative.

Whether you’re in the early planning stage of your writing journey, or are feeling a little stuck a few drafts in, this interactive workshop will equip you with the writing techniques to breathe life into your characters, and leave you feeling confident and assured in their ability to carry your story through to the final draft.

Course content

  • Explore what makes an effective character study, and why readers respond to some characters more than others
  • Understand how a character’s voice, thoughts and actions can be used to move a story forward
  • How to write narration and dialogue in a range of voices
  • Writing techniques to bring depth and credibility to characters

This course is for…

  • Beginners and writers looking to develop their skills
  • Anyone who wants to learn more about writing compelling characters through practical exercises

Tutor profile

Sophie Mackintosh is a writer based in London. Her debut novel The Water Cure was longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize, and won a Betty Trask award. Her second novel, Blue Ticket, was published in 2020.

You will be sent a link to the webinar 2hrs before the start time of 6pm (GMT). Please email masterclasses@theguardian.com if you have not received the access link within one hour of the scheduled start time.

This masterclass is available globally. If you are joining us from outside the United Kingdom, please use this time zone converter to check your local live streaming time.

6pm BST | 7pm CEST | 10am PDT | 1pm EDT

All Guardian Masterclasses are fully accessible but please contact us at masterclasses@theguardian.com if you have any queries or concerns.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

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