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Crafting compelling characters for your novel

Guardian Masterclasses

Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 10:00 AM - Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 4:00 PM (GMT)

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Ticket Type Sales End Price * Fee Quantity
Crafting compelling characters for your novel Mar 16, 2018 £449.00 £0.00
* Prices include VAT

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Event Details

How does character inform plot, and how can you bring your characters to life? Combining theory and practice, award-winning novelist Tim Lott will reveal the secrets of creating “real” made-up people in this two-day workshop.

Think of some of your favourite novels. What do you remember most about them? Is it the details of the plot, the snappy dialogue, the cunning subtext? Probably not – what you are most likely to remember are the characters.

From Catherine Earnshaw to Katniss Everdeen, from Tom Jones to Tyrion Lannister, it’s the great characters that stick in the mind. They are the people we have come to know and love – or occasionally hate – on our reading journey. They are most often the protagonists, although minor characters can also be memorable – think Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist or Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter.

So what makes three-dimensional characters different from two-dimensional ones? And what is the secret of crafting rounded personalities?

Suitable for writers of all levels and abilities, this two-day weekend course with award-winning novelist Tim Lott combines practice and theory. You will spend Saturday morning doing fieldwork – close observation of real people. In the afternoon, you will have a chance to share your findings and analyse them in a group environment. Sunday is dedicated to exploring the theoretical nature of character in fiction.

Course content

  • Fieldwork: observing characters on the street and taking notes
  • Analysing your findings with feedback from Tim and others
  • The difference between character and characterisation
  • Creating credible characters
  • What makes us care about a character?
  • How characters relate to one another
  • Why all stories are the stories of a character’s change

Tutor profile

Tim Lott is the author of eight novels and Penguin Modern Classic memoir The Scent of Dried Roses. He is one of the most sought-after writing teachers in the country, particularly through his personal mentoring services. His writing has been highly praised by Hilary Mantel, Alan Bennett, Sebastian Faulks, Tony Parsons and Sarah Waters, among others. His students are equally enthusiastic – read their testimonials.

“Tim’s help got me to a point where I was ready to write my next draft. That next draft got me an agent.”
Ben McPherson, A Line of Blood

“No one else could have taught me what Tim did. Without him I can safely say I would still be flailing around in piles of rejection slips.”
Rebecca Thornton, The Exclusives

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

Have questions about Crafting compelling characters for your novel? Contact Guardian Masterclasses

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When & Where

The Guardian
Kings Place
90 York Way
N1 9GU London
United Kingdom

Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 10:00 AM - Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 4:00 PM (GMT)

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Guardian Masterclasses

Welcome to Guardian masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.

Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.

Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.

The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.

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