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How to bring your characters to life

The art of making fictional characters seem real 

Ever had a character stay with you, long after you’ve finished a book? This newsletter delves into how to breathe life into your protagonist, antagonist and even your secondary characters, so every one of them feels like a real person.  

WEBINAR: Writing to market, with Melissa Addey (Exclusive to members) 

24 June 2020. Join indie expert Melissa Addey as she takes the six-step process used in business and applies it to developing ideas for books, to ensure your ideas sell – however you’re looking to publish.  



Masterclass: Dealing with problem characters (FREE) 

Join Rebecca Horsfall as she teaches us how to create characters with purpose – and what to do with characters who are struggling to find theirs. 



BLOG: The unreliable narrator: all you need to know 

This practical writing guide explains who the unreliable narrator is and how using one will impact your story, with examples.  


MENTORING: Two new mentors added! (Member discount available) 

We’re excited to welcome Judith Heneghan and Kate Lee to the Complete Novel Mentoring programme. Judith is an ex-commissioning editor and MA tutor, and Kate is an expert in children’s books.  


Content corner: Three fun ways to get to know your characters 

Because so much of our job as writers includes typing, I love to find ways to explore characters differently. Here are three of my personal favourites: 

1: Give them a free personality test 

Imagine you are your protagonist. Now answer these questions to get an in-depth breakdown of how they might behave in relationships, at work and more! Useful not only to get you seeing the world from their eyes, but also as a guide to fleshing them out.  

2: Fill in Jericho’s free character builder 

This free downloadable worksheet asks you a series of specific questions about your character, so you can get to know them inside-out.  

3: Create an avatar for them 

For visual thinkers and procrastinators, free avatar creators like this one can help you make decisions on physical attributes, such as eye colour and hairstyles.  

How do you get to know your characters? Sign up to the Townhouse for free and share your favourite tools here.  

Stay well x 

Sarah J  

Plus, don’t miss: 

Q&A with Alice Fugate added to AgentMatch 

We’ve just added a five-minute Q&A to US agent Alice Fugate’s profile on AgentMatch as part of a big update. If you’re writing for children or young adults, this could be one for you! 

Manuscript Assessment  (Discounts available for members) 

 Our most popular editorial service matches you to your dream editor and gives you tailored feedback on your work. It doesn’t get better than that. 

Summer Festival of Writing tickets still available (Discounts available for members) 

With live events from the likes of Neil Gaiman, Juliet Mushens and HaperCollins still to come, there’s 50+ reasons to grab your ticket and join the Summer Festival fun till 4 September 2020.  


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Comments (2)
  • Thank you Sarah. Some very good pointers here to keep us busy.

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    • Wonderful information 

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