Fiction Essentials: Characters

Create compelling and memorable characters your readers will love

Fiction Essentials: Characters is ideal for anyone who wants to ensure readers engage with their story

You will:
 Create a balanced cast of believable characters
 Shape your plot based on motivations
 Explore character development in creating tension
 Identify key interactions and dialogue
 Learn how to engage your reader through your characters.

“Absolutely brilliant course. It was so much more than I thought it would be. It is in actual fact a blueprint on how to write your novel.”
– Debbie Guertin, Fiction Essentials: CHARACTERS graduate

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Key information
Key information:
This is an online self-paced course
Duration 1 This is an online self-paced course

Your 12 months' access begins straight away

Your 12 months' access begins straight away

Course Creator:
Pamela Freeman
Course Creator:
Pamela Freeman


Getting into character

Writing compelling, believable characters is the key skill in all fiction writing. So it’s vital that you create characters readers will connect with. If you don’t, no one will care about your story – in fact, they probably won’t get past the first few pages!

In this online course, we will help you develop not only the main players in your story, but your entire cast of characters. This is vital because each of them plays an integral part in whether or not your reader engages with your story.

You’ll discover how to meld plot and structure with characterisation into a seamless, addictively readable story. And your story will have a rich cast of characters who are fully developed, ensuring there are no superficial ones who lack depth and understanding.

This course will help you do the following:

  • Understand your characters in detail – and how to convey those nuances to the reader.
  • Create a balanced cast of characters which are the best mix to help you tell your story and attract readers.
  • Use your character’s development to create narrative tension.
  • Use your knowledge of your characters to write engaging and meaningful dialogue.
  • Draw on your character’s journey to identify and shape key scenes and character interactions.
  • Develop your plot and shape your structure by identifying what is really driving your characters.
Without characters, all we have in a story is a list of events. The depth and believability of your characters is what will make your story stand out amongst others – and what will draw your readers back, time after time.This course will give you a firm foundation on which to build your story.

“Fiction Essentials: Characters filled the gaps in where I’ve been absolutely
stuck for nearly 12 months…now I know what I’m doing. Just do it!”

Kylie Saunder

You have a great idea for a character… but no story…

Sometimes, you might have a brilliant idea for a character but you’re not sure where to take them. You know your character has so much potential but you don’t know where to start.

If this is the case, this course is perfect for you because it will help you flesh out your character and give you the techniques and strategies to create stories that your character can drive forward.

How our “self-paced courses” work

This is one of AWC’s 35+ “self-paced” online courses. But what does that mean? Allow us to explain:

What’s included in your online course?

  • 2 hours of content – access anytime at your own pace
  • 4 audio lessons plus 4 supporting handouts

By the end of this course

If you complete all the activities the course offers, by the end you will have acquired a useful way of thinking about characters and story, and have developed a number of skills.

In particular, you will have:

  • at least three fully developed characters, complete with their back story, mannerisms, dialogue, and relationships, as well as what drives them and your story
  • your full story arc planned so that you’re able to begin or improve your story immediately.

“It is a valuable course for every writer who wants to sharpen and increase the quality of their characters and to make them memorable long after the pages of a book are closed. I enjoyed the volume of helpful information that I can revisit as frequently as necessary. A very comprehensive course.”

Cindy Ross


Q: Why are characters so important?
A: If you’ve ever fallen in love with a book, it’s likely because you became invested in one or more of the characters. They're an essential part of how your readers connect with your story, either a reflection of themselves or a way to live vicariously through someone else’s experiences. This course will show you how to build memorable characters from the ground up, including backstories and motivations and relationships.

Q: I've completed Creative Writing Stage 1. Will I learn anything new here?
A: Yes! In fact, this course has been designed for writers who already have a basic understanding of core fiction techniques and want to hone their skills further. Advanced writers can also benefit from deep diving into this subject, as it's such a key player in successful novel writing.

Q: I'm a complete beginner. Will this course suit me?
A: We recommend absolute beginners start with Creative Writing Stage 1. It covers the core skills and knowledge you need to become a great writer. This course will help you hone characteristics once you have those foundation techniques under your belt.

Q: Is this course mainly about creating your protagonist?
A: Not at all – the things you learn here can (and should) be applied to your entire cast of characters to give your stories more depth and authenticity.

Q: I’ve thought up a great character, but I don’t have a story to put them into. Help?
A: This course will help you find homes for all the many characters you may have in your head or notebook. Conversely, if you have a story idea, it will show you how to fill that world with interesting players.

Q: Will this course help me with writing dialogue?
A: How a character communicates is a key part of their identity, so yes – it will be touched on in this course. However, for a deeper understanding of how to write dialogue scenes in your stories, our Fiction Essentials: Dialogue course is the place.

Q: Do I need to log into this course at a set time?
A: No. As one of our self-paced courses, you have access to the online course material for a full year. There are no set classroom times or deadlines – simply learn at a pace that suits you.

Q: Should I start thinking about who will play my characters in the Netflix series?
A: Feel free to, but perhaps focus on writing the story first!

Q: I quite like these “fiction essentials” masterclass courses. Are there more?
A: Yes – there’s a whole suite of them! You can see all of them here.

Ready to flesh out your cast of compelling characters? Master this essential skill today!

Key information
Key information:
This is an online self-paced course
Duration 1 This is an online self-paced course

Your 12 months' access begins straight away

Your 12 months' access begins straight away

Course Creator:
Pamela Freeman
Course Creator:
Pamela Freeman


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