Creating Credible Characters


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You might love them. You might hate them. But if you feel nothing for a fictional character, that can only mean one thing… Writing Fail!

This workshop is for English-speaking writers between ages 12 and 18 who want to create characters that will pop off the page and worm their way into their readers’ hearts. By sampling some of our favorite fictional characters, we will investigate why they appeal to us, how they are crafted to make us personally identify with them and what makes them three-dimensional: from flawed heroes to villains with a heart.

We will delve into different techniques for creating characters: sampling from our own lives and those of people we know, discovering people who already exist in history, pulling them randomly from our imagination, or tapping into the more esoteric story-book dimension that can only be accessed by those who have read and absorbed vast amounts of stories.

Starting out with the simplest games and exercises, we will gradually develop our skills for writing people we wish we knew…or hope we never meet. We will create ID cards, back stories, dialogues, and interview each other’s characters so that we can get to know them better and learn to present them in an effective way.

Whether you arrive with a partially-developed story or the merest wisp of an idea, you are guaranteed to leave the workshop with characters that evoke emotion in your reader and strengthen your story.