Portraying the DNA of Fictional People

By Irenee Chan

Sherryl Clark’s Masterclass on Creating Deeper Characters was incredibly detailed and insightful. I had been struggling with character development in my stories and when I found out about this class, I was eager to sign up to learn more on how to create memorable and in-depth characters. I had done character interviews before, but I learned so much more from Sherryl’s guidance and explanation through each question and aspect of a character interview, and why we would want to dig into those areas in a character’s past. Understanding the “why” really helped me to see the importance and value of doing the exercise.

Creating a timeline for a character was something new to me and I had never done it previously, but I can see how this would be helpful for fleshing out a character from beginning to end to recognize how an event in the past might affect current behaviour and personality. The Free Writing activity she suggested was also a great strategy to help us get started in character building and allow the creative juices to start flowing without worrying about editing.

Although a lot of the content related to adult novel writing, Sherryl also provided ways to adapt and apply the process and skills for short stories and children’s books during the Q&A session. I thoroughly enjoyed the session and learned so much that I am excited to start writing again! I look forward to attending the next masterclass.