Character Development – The Deep Dive

4 weeks
Start Date
← Back to Courses

Character Development – The Deep Dive

Learn how to create characters that will stick in your reader’s mind long after they’ve closed the book.

Anna Davis will help you create central characters who will be as real for your readers as the people in their day-to-day lives – and who will refuse to leave you alone until you’ve told their story.

You’ll get to know your protagonist inside and out as you explore their personality, psychology and backstory, deciding on everything from their eye colour to their deepest desires and fears. You’ll also learn how to give them real motivation for their actions, so that readers will be desperate to follow them through the pages of their story. You'll also improve your understanding of narrative perspective, and choose the best one for your character's story. As well as fully fleshing out your central character, we’ll show you how to create your cast of supporting characters.

Everything was brilliant, but the best part was that it made me look at my novel plan with fresh eyes.

Emily Scott


Anna Davis

Anna Davis is the founder and Director of the Curtis Brown Creative writing school. She is the author of five acclaimed novels which have been published in twenty languages. She has been a journalist and Guardian columnist, as well as a Curtis Brown literary agent. She taught creative writing at the University of Manchester and in many other settings before founding Curtis Brown Creative in 2011.


  • Video modules: Work through six modules comprising teaching videos and substantial notes by Anna Davis. Topics range from character motivation to narrative perspective.
  • Writing tasks: Weekly writing tasks to help you explore and understand the teaching topics and progress your novel. Weekly posts to the forum from your tutor will reinforce these lessons.
  • Resources & notes: You’ll get access to extensive teaching materials, including writing prompts and a list of recommended reading.
  • Professional feedback: An expert CBC editor will give brief written feedback on several of the students' practical assignments every week, with all students receiving feedback on one of their writing tasks. Students are also given the option to purchase additional end-of-course feedback from our expert editors.
  • Student forum: Find your writing community on our private student forums. Upload your completed writing tasks, give and receive peer-to-peer feedback, and discuss the week’s topics with your fellow students and the CBC team.


Our online courses are designed for flexible learning. Allocate your own study time and take part from wherever you are in the world. Each week, we recommend spending at least four hours on the course.

  • WEEK 1
    Character genesis
  • WEEK 2
    Character from the inside
  • WEEK 3
    Character from the outside
  • WEEK 4
    Past & present


All students will be given the option to purchase feedback on their final task from a CBC editor.

  • CBC report: For an additional fee of £125, you can obtain a detailed 500-word report on your work (of up to 3,000 words) from one of our editors.
  • CBC report + tutorial: For an additional fee of £200, you can obtain a 500-word report from one of our editors and have a 30-minute video or telephone tutorial with them to discuss your work.