Creating fictional characters with Ruth Brandt

Creative writing and publishing

Ref: SWE12098

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About this course

Your characters are key to your story. Whether you are writing short stories, novels, plays or screenplays, this course will help you to write characters that will engage readers.

Course Description

Your characters are key to your story, indeed the only reason your story can take place. Whether you are writing short stories, novels, plays or screenplays, this course will help you to write characters that will keep readers and viewers engaged. Through a series of exercises with plenty of feedback, learn how to create unique fictional characters who will engage readers.

On this course you will learn the importance of writing unique and interesting, three-dimensional characters who have clear motivations which bring them into conflict with their worlds. You will learn how dialogue and action can be used to deepen your characters and reveal their relationships, as well as showing their morals, attitudes, emotional states and opinions. You will study the impact of setting on characters, what makes a character stereotypical and the reasons we avoid writing stereotypes, and the similarities and differences between characters and real people. You will consider the lightness of touch needed when describing characters.

Working in a supportive, encouraging environment you will explore each of these areas through class discussions and written exercises. Regular feedback and guidance will be provided by the tutor. There will be plenty of time for independent writing in and around the inspirational College and Gardens.

By the end of the course you will have developed an understanding of the importance creating unique and engaging fictional characters, and written and edited several pieces. You will leave with increased writing skills, new ideas for creating characters and the confidence to write more.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

Writing materials – notebook, pen or pencil and/or laptop.

Available to buy

Available from shop:

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Ruth Brandt

Ruth Brandt’s short stories and flash fiction have been widely published. She won the Kingston University MFA Creative Writing Prize, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Write Well Award and Best Small Fictions Award. Her short story collection No One has any Intention of Building a Wall will be published by Fly on the Wall Press in 2021.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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