5-week WriteCharacter course with Emma Read

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 as she leads you through a five-week exploration of writing book characters.

Build an engaging cast of book characters

Week by week unpick how book 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 points of view 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 of book characters that will bring your novel to life.

Enjoy tasks, discussions and feedback

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. 

Peer feedback will take place during weeks 1-4, with Emma looking over one piece, up to 1000 words, after week 5.

Course summary

Time: 8pm to 9pm (GMT)

Date: See courses page

Frequency: Once a week

Platform: Slack

Course outline

WEEK ONE: Connecting with a book 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 book 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 of book characters

A fun, collaborative session where you will go through a list of key points to develop an entire team of book characters together.

About the course tutor

Emma Read, author of Milton the Mighty and course leader for WriteMentor's book character course

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.

Hear from past students

“WriteCharacter is a wonderful course packed with information and helpful tips. Emma Read is an excellent teacher and I came away with a clearer insight into the goals and the motivations of my main character and protagonist in my WIP.”

Rachel Rivers Porter

“Every hour with Emma flies by. She challenges you, gives you loads of information, makes you think and laugh, leaves you with quality resources and will answer any question.”

Tricia Gilbey

“I really enjoyed the course. It made me open my creative mind to look at the importance of characters and how much they advance your story. I wrote things during the course that I never knew I had in me! All thanks to Emma.”

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