Genre Essentials: Creating Characters

Saturday, February 13th, 10:30am-5:30pm
GrubStreet HQ (Remote)
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Level: For Everyone
Adult (18+)
12 seats max

Patrick Bateman, Count Dracula, Hannibal Lecter: Some of the greatest and most memorable characters in literature are often a blend of the monstrous and the human. These characters are capable of mayhem yet their wicked deeds are not senseless—they have their reasons, and even those motivations that disturb and horrify can provide insight into the dark heart of humanity. But when we create our own human monsters, we often fail to acknowledge this complexity; we shy away from moral ambiguity, relegating our monsters’ motivations, simply, to evil. In this one-day seminar, we will discuss the evolution of the human monster, why they are an essential part of any truly insightful (and frightening) tale, and how we can fully develop these sinister and captivating characters that will live on long after a reader puts our stories down. Expect to leave with a new understanding of your character-in-progress, or a completely new character!

Please note that this is a companion class to the Crafting the Villain course but does not replace it. We’ll be covering entirely new material.

Part of GrubStreet's Genre Essentials Series, dedicated to the exploration of craft elements specific to Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and other Speculative Genres. To explore more classes in this series, click here.


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KL Pereira
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Previous Students Say

  • "High-Energy Class"
  • "Inundated with Great Info"


  • Concept Development
  • Class Discussion
  • In-Class Reading
  • Lecture
  • In-Class Writing
  • Craft Lessons
  • Generate New Work


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Young Adult & Children's Literature
  • Screenwriting

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