Creating Iconic Characters with Samantha Bond and Carla Caruso

New for 2017 Creating Iconic Characters with Samantha Bond and Carla Caruso

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Have you heard of Buffy Summers? How about Scarlett O'Harra? Or maybe you remember Jessica and Elizabeth, The Sweet Valley Twins. Perhaps Rhett Butler sticks in your mind, or even Doctor Sheldon Cooper. The one thing these characters all have in common is that they're unforgettable. They're iconic, stand the test of time, and readers and viewers can't get enough of them.

So how do you bestow your characters with the same "unforgettableness"?

In this online workshop, two experienced writing teachers will deconstruct what makes an iconic character. They'll discuss why some work and why other's fail. Through their practical lessons covering the important components of character, they'll show you how to make your very own walking, talking, unforgettable characters who will simply seduce your readers.

At the end, you'll have the opportunity to submit a piece of your work in progress for critical feedback on the effectiveness of your characters.
Getting started— this week is all about introducing participants to a variety of well-known fictional characters and what their creators did to make them iconic. We'll look at why characters like Scarlett O'Hara, Stephanie Plum, The Sweet Valley twins and other heroines have stood the test of time. And not to ignore those important male heroes, we'll also look at a selection of favourites (Rhett Butler, Joe O'Loughlin and even Sheldon Cooper, amongst others) to see what makes them tick and why we love 'em!

Week 2:
What makes a great character? — now that participants have an understanding of what makes an unforgettable character, we'll show you how to create your own. We'll look at:
• character quirks, habits and ticks
• appearance and avoiding clichés
• they way they speak and using effective dialogue
• their relationship to the world and other characters
• character pairings and "foils"
• how a cast of characters can be used to best effect
This lesson will include exercises to hone your character creation cred!

Week 3:
Character is destiny — it's an oft quoted line, but particularly true in fiction. This lesson will show how active characters create their own destiny (plots and stories) and how by employing simple techniques, you can turn a passive character into an active one. All iconic characters are active, and this lesson will demonstrate how so, and explain the crucial link between characters, their actions and the overall story arc. It will also look at the sometimes neglected character arc — how the events of your story affect your character's inner growth and development — and provide exercises to help students put theory into practice.

Week 4:
Action! —Theory is all well and good, but you don't want to just know what goes into making an iconic character (that's a mere shopping list!) you want to know how to make them burst off the page.
This last lesson will tie up loose threads, including issues to consider when writing a series character, and then invite participants to submit a substantial scene of their work in progress to the presenters for individual feedback. Each participant will receive a report on the effectiveness of their characters, focusing on the components taught in this online workshop.
Samantha Bond
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Not very organized. Exercises mentioned a lesson 4 but there’s only 2 lessons as far as I can see.
Samantha Bond
Samantha Bond
Hi Fiona,
again, sincere apologies for the muck-up with posting those lessons. In light of Lyn's message, would you please consider retracting this comment? Understand it must have been frustrating for you.
Kind regards
Samantha Bond