I have been contacted by the organisers of the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School inviting me to run a workshop. I feel genuinely honoured to be asked to pass on my own thoughts to other writers. In years passed I have enjoyed listening to famous writers passing on their skills and I anticipate it will feel daunting for me to follow in their footsteps.
The theme of the workshop will be characterization. I’m aware that many better writers have passed on their thoughts on that subject and I don’t want to bore the delegates with information they will have already gathered from other sources. This will have to be my thoughts on how to go about bringing characters to life. So I aim to cover four elements that I address in order to make a character jump off the page: name, appearance, dialogue and actions.
How I tackle the workshop is something I will need to think about in the next few months. My initial thought is to give the delegates brief information on a fictional character and discuss with them the importance of using each of those elements to bring that character to life in the reader’s mind. I’m glad the organisers have given me plenty of time to think about it!