Is your protagonist having an identity crisis? Is the phrase: “I couldn’t connect with the characters” haunting your nightmares? Are the stars of your story feeling a bit two dimensional?

Join Milton the Mighty author Emma Read on this five-week exploration of character. Week by week we’ll be unpicking how characters work – how they drive plot through agency, find their voice and leave a lasting impression on the reader. Emma will also be examining the role of the antagonist, how to write from alternative POVs and the role of secondary and other supporting characters.

Inspired by the character sessions from her previous course on writing Young Middle Grade fiction, Emma is here to help you build an engaging cast that will bring your novel to life. There will be in-session tasks, discussion and feedback, including a final, collaborative, session to create a team of characters for an imaginary piece of fiction. 

Course outline

WEEK ONE: Connecting with a character – examine how well you know your characters, how they fit into your world and the plot of the novel, and the all-important voice.

WEEK TWO: Character Agency and how it drives plot – digging down into your characters’ goals and how the decisions they make to achieve those goals push the narrative forward.

WEEK THREE: Point of view – writing from the point of view of children, unreliable narrators, non-human characters and balancing multiple POVs.

WEEK FOUR: Antagonists – because baddies need love too. Or at least a good backstory. How well suited your antagonist and protagonist are to one another.

WEEK FIVE: Building a team – a fun, collaborative session where you will go through a list of key points to develop an entire team of characters together.

Book here:

About the course tutor

Emma is the author of Milton the Mighty (The Times Best Children’s Books 2019) and Milton the Megastar. She is also a mentor for WriteMentor’s Spark programme.

Emma was once a very sensible biologist. Now she uses her transferable talents such as attention to detail, patience and fine motor skills, to extract Lego from under the sofa. And of course to write children’s books.

Her favourite things in the world are: badges, Death On the Nile, hats, foxes, deserts, desserts and Buck Rogers. Her one regret in life is never having trained to be an astronaut.

Find out more about her and her writing via her website or follow her on Twitter.