Writing characters

Well, I just got back from the Brian Henry ‘Writing Great characters’ workshop in Dundas. It was a great day, even though I had a bit of a headache the whole time, and thus plan to put myself to bed very soon.

A lot of the discussion was about stuff that I’ve already gathered and been using, in terms of drawing characters partly from other literary models, partly from people you know in real life, and partly from your own imagination, and about what makes a good character, how to outline or interview a character before you write, how to describe a character or reveal their personality to the reader. I wrote two fun little exercises, both tied into ‘The Scroll’ universe, one a minor character based on an old work colleague of mine, and one discovery scene for Emelia Collins.

Jean Rae Baxter was there as a guest author, reading snippets from her stories and book, and I was interested enough to pick up a copy of her first short story collection, “A Twist of Malice”, and read one of the stories in full on the bus home. She was great answering questions, and had good points to make, although I’m not sure I’m with her 100% about not ever drawing from characters in literature/film/television when devising characters from your own writing.

And I met up with some other great student writers, including Christine, (who I ended up having lunch with,) Steve, and Grace, who I chatted with on the bus home.

Okay, head still throbbing a bit, so I’ll sign off. Must remember to cue up Six Sentence Sunday before I crash into bed.

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