Monstrous Humanity: Creating Flawed Characters

This workshop will explore a variety of ways that authors can move beyond expected types and tropes to create characters who feel fully realized and well-rounded. These characters may be flawed, but remain relatable in a way that invests the reader in their story.

Even when they are monstrous in their actions and choices, readers understand where these characters are coming from, why they do what they do, and ultimately feel satisfied by the way they impact the story. Rather than seeing a character or caricature, the goal is to let readers see that these characters are deeply human.

During the workshop, we will discuss examples of flawed characters and monstrous characters whose stories remain engaging and compelling, looking at specific details authors include or techniques such as voice and point of view used in creating these characters. The workshop will also include a writing exercise (or exercises) to allow participants to put these techniques into practice.

What Participants Will Take Away

  • An understanding of character types and tropes and techniques for enriching them and/or subverting them
  • Techniques for creating flawed but relatable characters through voice and perspective
  • Writing exercises to practice independently
  • Recommended reading to study the ways in which authors may choose to develop and enrich their characters

There will be an optional opportunity to share.

Suitable for beginning and intermediate writers.

Date Sunday, July 9: 7 AM PDT / 10 AM EDT / 3 PM BST / 7:30 PM IST

About Instructor
A.C. Wise is the author of the novels Wendy, Darling and Hooked, and the recent short story collection, The Ghost Sequences. Her work has won the Sunburst Award and been a finalist for the Nebula, Stoker, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Locus, Shirley Jackson, Aurora, and Lambda Literary Awards. In addition to her fiction, she also contributes a review column to Apex Magazine.


Click here for the text version of the July 9 time zone map.

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