Starts Monday 5 july

the characterisation masterclass

I’ve found this course to be incredibly useful. I have a novel I started years ago, and with the help of this course, I have realised that the central character needs a lot of work on her motivations. The questions I’ve looked at while doing this course have really made me think about what moves her to do what she does, but mainly to question her overall motivation. This is a great time to clarify things I hadn’t considered before and to not get too swept up in ideas for the plot while the protagonist is unsure why she is there at all. Thanks, Writers HQ, you’ve given me a lot to think about!

Eleanor Pender
Making People



Create characters who are original, real and memorable, right down to that bit of dried cheese sauce on their trousers and their fear of flip-flops.

Imagine if Lizzie Bennett had no sense of humour, or if Offred just gave up, or if Matilda wasn’t fussed about books. Imagine if Frankenstein had even the tiniest ounce of empathy. Without great and believable characters, stories don’t fly, plots wilt, worlds end and, worse, manuscripts get thrown in the bin.

Our one-week characterisation masterclass will show you how to turn your characters into people, how to stop yourself falling back on tropes and stereotypes, and how to avoid hashing out two-dimensional cardboard cutout figures instead of sculpting living, breathing people.

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what am i signing up for?

The Writers’ HQ Characterisation Masterclass is a week-long course which’ll teach you how to craft unique, intriguing characters who have their very own agenda, opinions, fears and dreams. Learn how to write backstories and memories, and find out how to thwart your poor protagonist’s desires at every turn to up the stakes and layer your story with conflict.

Doodle of a bird
why am i signing up?

There’s no one-size-fits-all writing advice. We’re all different. In this course we offer a range of approaches to characterisation to help you get down and dirty with the psychology of your fictional peeps. You’ll discover your character’s motivations and work out how they react in any given situation with daily inspiration, whip-cracking, writing exercises and prompts, and access to our private forum full of super cool people.

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who am i signing up for?

Writers’ HQ helps writers to tell their stories, and to tell them really freakin’ well. We run online creative writing courses and real life retreats for badass writers with no time or money. You can find out more here


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who are you?

We’re Writers’ HQ and we run online creative writing courses and retreats for badass writers with no time or money. Join in with our monthly freebie course, a whole load of free retreats and workshops, or sign up as a fully-fledged member and get access to ALL our writing course as well as a bunch of other excellent perks and shiny things.

is it really free?

Yes, it’s free, FREEEEE! (But obviously we’re gonna try to get you to join as a member in the emails because we cannot get enough of helping writers do that writing thang. But you can ignore that stuff. We don’t care. We don’t. It’s fine. WE SAID IT’S FINE.) perks and shiny things.
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gdpr woop woop gdpr

You are also being signed up for our regular newsletter*. You can unsubscribe at any time using the unsub button at the bottom of each email. What’s in the newsletter? All kinds of wonderous things, including but not limited to: special offers, the latest super cool blogs, John-Williams-score-rousing pep, gifs, the occasional haiku, and a reasonable quantity of swearing.

*we’re not being cynical list-building twats, we genuinely can’t operate our newsletter software well enough to stop it happening.

Plus we’re wanging your email address over to Crowdcast to get you registered for the webinar. You can read their privacy policy n stuff here.

Where’s the privacy policy that I’ll never read?

It’s here. Also check our our T&C while you’re there.

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I don’t like tea, swearing or memes

Yeah no we’re probably not for you then. Our approach isn’t for everyone (your first clue is in our logo). We swear more than is ‘ladylike’ and use gifs when we could use our words. But, eh, fuck it. We don’t believe that linguistic purity or literary snobbery does anyone any favours.

If we’re not a match for you, thanks for giving us a go and good luck with your writing – we wish you every success. Please don’t sign up and then email us with how offended you are because that’s a silly waste of everyone’s time.

But if, like us, you’ve never found your rightful place in the writing world and think WHQ could be just the ticket – welcome home, come in, grab a cuppa, we’ve been waiting for you (in a totally non sinister way ofc).


This course really made me think about characters in a whole new way. And I’m so fucking glad I no longer have to write what colour their eyes are.

Marisa Blagden
Making People
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Cheltenham Literature Festival
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Wall of fame
some of the places our writers have been published

Book your spot and get access to a whole bunch of super cool writery stuff - FREE!

Cross our palms with your email address and we will fill your brain with words.

Stick your thing in the thing and you’ll get access too: 

> All our free online writing retreats, Flash Face Off, and Journaling

> Free creative writing courses 

> A bunch of other writing webinars and workshops 

> Our super supportive forum and community 

> Love and support

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