Writing Junior Fiction: Bringing Characters to Life


Sylvia Bishop

Saturday, February 27th, 10:30am-12:30pm ET / 3:30pm-5:30pm GMT
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Writing Junior Fiction: Bringing Characters to Life
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Vivid, distinctive characters can be elusive, despite time poured into preparing backstories and psychological profiles.  In this workshop, we will learn how the concept of a ‘character game’, used in improvised theatre, can help you produce unforgettable characters.


This approach focuses on how characters behave first and foremost, which is easier for our brains and more interesting for our readers! We will look at how a ‘character game’ is an adaptable tool, and can be modified to produce the results you want, in the following stages:


  • Comedy: Simple games for comic effect
  • Character development: Using games for inspiration
  • Serious games: creating psychologically complex characters
  • Duos: using characters’ games for dialogue
  • Status games: A bonus exercise on the powerful concept of ‘status’


There will be ‘sketchbook exercises’ throughout the class, followed by group discussion to share our experiences of trying out these tools. Although the emphasis will be on examples from junior fiction, all writers who struggle with characters that ‘sound the same’ are welcome!

Note: This event is two hours long but will include a short break partway through.

What to expect at this event