Who are they?

In this pack:

  • How Sarah Perry creates characters
  • Developing characters with Michael Donkor
  • Character and voice with Joe Dunthorne
  • Download character templates
When we speak of books we love, we so often speak of their characters. It is characters who intrigue, infuriate, surprise; characters who drive the story and get under our skin, sometimes forever.
So what makes for a memorable character? Is it their actions, their failures, or what they teach us? Is it important that we ‘like’ them? Is it simply living inside their lives that imprints on our memory? Good books take us to new worlds, but it’s the characters that populate those worlds that give life to stories.
This month’s pack dives into the creation of character; an exciting glimpse into the thinking of some of today’s best writers. From a podcast conversation with Desmond Elliot Prize-nominated novelist Michael Donkor, to Joe Dunthorne’s discovery of character through voice, to The Essex Serpent‘s Sarah Perry in conversation with our Chief Exec Chris Gribble, we’ve got a broad range of insight into how to craft compelling characters.
We’ve also got downloadable templates to help you get started with developing your own characters, plus my National Centre for Writing colleagues have shared which fictional character they’d like to be stuck with during lockdown…
Until next time.
Laura Stimson,
National Centre for Writing,
May 2020
Laura Stimson has worked with National Centre for Writing since 2007. She has managed the Escalator Literature and Common People mentoring schemes amongst others. She is currently managing the Early Career Awards. Laura has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and has recorded vocals for poet Luke Wright. She won the 2015 Word & Women Prize and is represented by Blake Friedmann Agency.

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