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.

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.

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.

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

Wall of fame
some of the places our writers have been published