The #1 reason most screenplays fail is because the characters are underdeveloped

We're here to solve that problem. That's why we take a CHARACTER-FIRST approach in our online workshops where you'll learn:

  • How to develop complex, compelling and memorable characters

  • How to craft emotionally-truthful, character-driven stories that keep your audiences engaged

  • How to create fascinating character relationships

And how do we do this?

Our online courses combine:

  • Character-first development

    Since we engage with stories through their characters, rather than structure or plot, we take a character-first approach towards story development. We'll teach you how to create emotionally-truthful characters who your readers won't forget.

  • Workshop-style teaching

    We lead you step-by-step through the development process - from helping your brainstorm the best ideas for characters through ensuring you have them down on the page.

  • Insights from psychology

    We dig deep into human psychology in teaching you how to create compelling and complex characters that keep your readers and audiences emotionally engaged.

  • Approaches that work

    Our courses are based on tried-and-tested workshops that we've been running for industry partners over the last 5 years.

Wondering if our courses are for you?

Our courses are for writers of all levels who want to further develop their characters through easy-to-apply approaches from psychology. If you're a writer who has received any of the following notes then we have the solutions:

  • Your characters lack depth and are underdeveloped

  • Your characters could be more emotionally engaging

  • Your characters relationships aren't interesting

  • Your characters are unoriginal and lack unique voices

About Us

Hi, I’m Kira-Anne Pelican, PhD and I'm the founder of Character Masterclass. Working as an educator and script consultant for many years I’ve found that many writers wrestle with the same problems when it comes to character development. While it's easy enough to help writers with their story structure, how many of us are actually helped by development notes like “your protagonist lacks complexity and depth”? Embarking on a PhD that bridged Creative and Critical Writing with Psychology, I found multiple approaches that I knew would immediately solve some of the most challenging problems facing writers. Some of these solutions I wrote about in my book THE SCIENCE OF WRITING CHARACTERS: Using Psychology to Write Compelling Characters (Bloomsbury, 2020). Others, I’ve taught in online workshops across the world, from Auckland to California. In CHARACTER MASTERCLASS, I pull together all the approaches that I’ve been teaching over the last few years, in my most comprehensive writer development training programme to date.
Profile image of Kira-Anne Pelican

Institutions we've loved working with:

Jericho Writers

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Thank You

Need a bit more convincing?

Maybe these testimonials from previous courses will help

“I would urge any film practitioner of drama, or indeed any writer of the narrative form, to take Kira-Anne's course on character. I’ve been a writer, director and producer for over twenty years, but this course is a game changer. Her marvellously researched and executed course is hugely enlightening and makes palatable many otherwise complex concepts. I had epiphany after epiphany. It has helped me hugely as a screenwriter and has also had a significant impact on my approach as a director. Kira-Anne not only has a fabulously incisive understanding, but also has the humility, warmth and sheer humanity to convey the information so that it is readily absorbed and immediately useable. Do this course and just feel the empowerment that new understanding will bring! I cannot recommend it enough!!”

Wyndham Price, Writer/Director, Spinning Head Films (Winner BAFTA Cymru, Best Film)

“This workshop was formidable. I got more out of it than my 40 year background in psychoanalysis and psychology. I fleshed out my main character for a TV series, her monologue and dialogue and even plots and action. This course is a must before any film writing endeavour.”

Desiree Faust, Screenwriter

“This was an excellent workshop. Tons of original information laid out in a very clear way. Going to be incredibly useful when developing my screenplay.”

Robert Dee, Screenwriter

“I found the workshop really fun and thought provoking, giving me much more to consider when drawing out believable and relatable screen characters. Having written a couple of pilots already, I wish I had attended something like this earlier!”

Lesley McGlynn, Screenwriter

“I found this workshop brilliant.”

Aline Jewell, Filmmaker

“This workshop series was even better than I expected. The integration of concepts, film and script examples made for a rich learning experience. Kira-Anne is excellent at engaging everyone and provides ample opportunity to discuss ideas and ask questions.”

Professor Candace Egan, Media Producer | Screenwriter

“By the end of this course, you’ll know your characters better than you know yourself. I have yet to come across a workshop that goes into greater detail when plotting the personality, voice, and transformation of a character. Absolutely fascinating and invaluable to all fiction writers.”

Lili Kent, Writer

“This seminar was hands down the most valuable professional development session I have ever attended. It was utterly fascinating, with loads of links to how we could use this information in our practice. ”

Screenwriter, BBC Writersroom development scheme

“Kira-Anne’s workshop was a game changer for both my fictional writing and screenwriting. The in-depth analysis and science of characters that Kira-Anne teaches opened up multiple layers to my characters’ personalities, bringing them to life. You’ll leave Kira-Anne’s workshop knowing your characters as well as your family and close friends and this will take your writing to a whole new level. I highly recommend this informative and practical course!”

Jennie Griffiths, Co-founder, Collab Writers

“Loved it. Helped me move forward with a story I’ve been writing for about 20 years! ”

David Turner, FRSA, Artist