Create Brilliant Characters

The course

Bring your cast to life.

Characters are at the heart of memorable fiction. Readers want to meet people they can go for a drink with or fall in love with or shout at. Characters they feel they know — or wish they knew.

This four-week course, run by our partners at Faber Academy, helps you understand the conventions of writing characters and shows you how to create more engaging characters to keep your readers hooked. It will expand your range of techniques and challenge you to experiment with your writing.

Tom Bromley

Meet your course director

Tom Bromley

Tom Bromley is an author, editor and ghostwriter. He has written ten books under his own name, both fiction and non-fiction, ghosted a further dozen titles, including several UK and international bestsellers, and has edited over a hundred books.

In partnership with Faber Academy

Expert guidance from first line to final draft, at the home of one of Britain’s great publishers. We work in partnership with Faber Academy to offer a range of courses for fiction writers at all stages of development – choose from key skills short courses through to advanced novel writing courses.

How it works

We give you the theory in the form of videos, podcasts, written lectures and reading extracts. In the case of our live workshops, this includes a live online seminar.

You put it into practice by completing the writing assignments.

You share your work with the small group of fellow writers and the teaching team.

Your tutor and fellow learners read your work and give professional-style feedback on your submission. Giving feedback notes helps to build your skills as an editor - a critical part of the writing process.

You reflect on the exercises with the group and share what you’ve learned.

You use what you learned from the feedback and discussions to review your work and improve it.

Things to know

Fiction Skills: Create Brilliant Characters is suitable for complete beginners or anyone who’s taken a beginners’ fiction course and wants to broaden their knowledge of characters, explore new skills and develop their writing techniques.

The course is suitable if you:

  • Are struggling to bring your characters to life
  • Want to learn the techniques writers use to create realistic and engaging characters
  • Are keen to understand what makes a good character and how you can apply this to your fiction writing
  • Want to join a friendly and supportive group of learners
  • Can dedicate 5-7 hours per week for the duration of the course

Tutor Tom Bromley will introduce you to the skills and techniques that will help you create fascinating and engaging characters.

Over two sessions, Tom will introduce you to the skills needed for creating your characters while you work within a supportive community of fellow writers keen to share their experiences with you.

Session 1: Creating Great Characters –Where do great characters come from? We’ll look at different ways of building a character from scratch, whether from yourself, from another person, from your imagination, or from a mix of all three. You’ll emerge with greater awareness of how different writers work and a list of craft skills to work on.

Session 2: Bringing Them To Life – We’ll look in greater depth at tips and techniques to bring your characters to life: description that sets them in your reader’s mind, ways to conjure up convincing back stories, and methods to make your reader care about the characters you create.

You’ll write a 2,000-word character-focused piece using the techniques you’ve experimented with. You’ll have the chance to share your work with the group, so you can give each other feedback.

Join the Faber Academy alumni

After your course, you can join the online alumni where you’ll meet the growing network of past Faber Academy students. The alumni is a friendly group of writers who support each other as they continue to explore and develop their writing.

Within the online alumni area you can:

  • Rejoin your classmates on a private forum and access an archived version of your course materials and forum posts
  • Meet alumni from other Faber Academy courses and groups and share your work for feedback on our alumni critiquing forum
  • Join in on discussions about reading, writing, editing and ideas on our general discussion forum. This is also where we share news and useful info
  • Retain access to our resources area, which has interesting and informative links
  • Chat with other people online using the alumni area live chatroom. We also host live chats with guest tutors, authors, agents, editors and publishers

Commission a report on your work

If you’d like to receive a personalised, detailed report on your final piece of writing from your course tutor, this is available at an extra cost. You’ll receive detailed written feedback assessing your ideas and writing, plus advice on what steps to take next.

Taking things further

If you’d like to continue on to another Faber Academy course, you’ll receive a discount. Please get in touch for more details.

The team

Meet your course team

Tom Bromley

Tom Bromley


Tom Bromley is an author, editor and ghostwriter. He has written ten books under his own name, both fiction and non-fiction, ghosted a further dozen titles, including several UK and international bestsellers, and has edited over a hundred books.

More about Tom Bromley

More courses

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Craft tales that make your readers miss their train stop.