Under their skin: the complete character masterclass 

This intensive workshop with a thriller author and a senior psychologist helps you to create compelling, convincing characters, whatever your genre


From Hannibal Lecter to Bridget Jones, memorable and vivid characters can make or break your novel – and this intensive one-day course will help you fill your stories with people readers cannot forget.

Novelist Rebecca Whitney and NHS senior psychologist Dr Sam Fraser will lead you through a series of exciting and revealing exercises, including real-life medical assessment tools and writing strategies. You’ll discover:

  • Psychological assessment techniques that help develop the authenticity of your characters

  • The different ways to portray character: dialogue, setting, action, internal thoughts and description;

  • When to reveal – and conceal - traits to keep readers turning the page;

  • New ways to develop exciting and convincing backstories for your characters

  • How to use hot-seating, biography and more to spark ideas and go deeper


The day includes plenty of examples from contemporary fiction, plus workshopping and writing time. The masterclass will help you, whether you’re starting a new book, honing a work-in-progress, or seeking a wealth of new ideas for novels or short stories. The examples and techniques apply across all genres of fiction.


Your Tutors

Rebecca Whitney’s debut novel The Liar’s Chair’ was released in January 2015, and was chosen for Loose Women’s November book club. She has a two-book deal with Mantle/Pan Macmillan, and is currently working on her second novel. Rebecca has a background in film and television production and has completed the Creative Writing Certificate at Sussex University. She has had work shortlisted for both the Bridport and Fish short story competitions, is a features writer, a guest tutor on The Creative Writing Programme in Brighton, and teaches for Guardian Masterclasses.

Dr Sam Fraser is a Senior Clinical Psychologist who currently lives and works in Brighton. As well as being employed by Sussex Partnership NHS foundation Trust as a Clinical Psychologist - providing assessment and treatment - she also works in a research and lecturing capacity at the University of Sussex. Sam has worked in mental health for sixteen years in a variety of different clinical settings and is keen to work to reduce the stigma and misinformation that surrounds mental illness. Her special areas of interests include child and youth mental health and the provision of psychological interventions for psychosis. Sam also teaches for Guardian Masterclasses and was part of a Pan Macmillan seminar on the endurance and popularity of the thriller genre. 


Under their skin: the complete character masterclass
10 2016

WHEN: Saturday September 10th


WHERE: Hotel Claremont, Second Avenue, Hove


COST £110 (excluding lunch)


The Hotel Claremont is a 5 star hotel moments from the beach and walking distance of Hove Station. It has just been awarded Boutique Hotel of 2016 for East Sussex

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Beach Hut Writing Academy


Brighton & Hove, UK




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