Summer School 2021

An invitation to write: writing character


Máire Fisher, writer

Tshepo from The Quiet Violence of Dreams, Margot from Homemaking for the Down-at-Heart, Celie from The Colour Purple … Good fiction requires believable characters who remain long after the novel is read. So how do authors go about creating these real people with real emotions, whom readers may love or dislike intensely? This course is designed to help participants inhabit their characters, move into their homes, discover their secrets, fears and fantasies – see just how far they are prepared to go to get what they want. Workshop exercises will work equally well whether participants wish to explore characters from work in progress or find new people to populate new stories. This course is suitable for established writers and those who are starting to explore their characters for the first time.

Participants will receive links to audio and other material on the Microsoft Teams platform, and will have regular email contact with the lecturer and others on the course. 


Recommended reading

Goldberg, N. 2016. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within. 30th Anniversary Edition Boulder, Colorado: Shambhala Publications. 

Lamott, A. 1995. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life .New York: Anchor Books. 

Prose, F. 2006. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them (especially Chapter Six, ‘Character’). New York: Harper Perennial.

Schuster, A. 2014. To the Islands: A Creative Writing Handbook. Cape Town: Tiber Tree Press.


Date: 18–22 January       
COURSE FEES: Full R1 376 Staff & students R917
MAXIMUM: 20 participants