I think characters are one of the most important aspects of a novel. You can’t have a plot without characters and you can’t have characters without a plot.
How often have you heard someone say once they've finished a book, ‘I really enjoyed the lack of present participles in that book. And how the author had eliminated all the dangling modifiers was just wonderful!’ Nope, me neither.
Chances are you’ve heard people talk about how memorable the characters in the book were. Well, creating memorable characters was what our Real People Write Books workshop was about at the RNA London and South East Chapter meeting on 13 May.
Early that morning I met Virginia Heath at Marylebone station where we found a cafe to discuss the day’s workshop over sausage sandwiches and mugs of tea. We arrived at the pub to have a last minute technical run through accompanied by a reminder of running order and who was doing which parts. And then, before I could think about it any more, people started arriving at the pub and then I was eating my lunch and then I was adjusting my jacket and shirt and then we were starting.
Real People Write Books is all about jargon-free and activity-led so there’s no over-intellectualising the craft of writing from us. There’s plenty of fun, activities and practical hints and tips you can take back with you to use in your own writing.
We talked through three very different techniques for developing believable characters. We also included very important chocolate biscuits as a prize for naming memorable characters from films. The techniques we’ve created are specifically designed to appeal to the different learning styles each of us have which are: visual, auditory, reading and kinaesthetic (touching things).
We had music, we had a great laugh while learning a lot, we had our great table of stuff, which we carried to the middle of the pub and uncovered in a very Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee magic show style.
So much fun!
That’s enough from me, here’s what the members of the RNA London and South East Chapter said about our workshop:
Really enjoyable, thought provoking day.
Very enjoyable workshop. Some great ideas for creating believable characters. Thoroughly recommended.
Not only did I come away with some new characters to write about, but I also thought of a story to put them in! Many thanks to Virginia and Liam for a fab workshop.
A fabulous day. Can’t wait for the September event.
It wasn’t only helpful and imaginative but also great fun.
A fabulous workshop. Wow my head is full and happy.
If you’d like to experience the Virginia Heath Liam Livings writing workshop fun while learning the next workshop is 16 September on Characters and Conflict in London. More details on our website. To book your place please email firstname.lastname@example.org