Crash Course: How to Get Your Characters Into (And Out Of) Trouble

Instructor: Tom Mullen

Whether you want to write crime fiction, historical fiction, contemporary realist fiction or any other genre, you need interesting characters who find themselves dealing with tragic, dangerous, complicated, and/or heartbreaking problems. Fiction thrives on conflict. Exploiting that tension to keep readers’ interest, advance your story, and fully develop your characters is one of the most overlooked aspects of strong writing.

In this workshop, we’ll talk about human psychology, literary nuance, and the ways our flaws make us interesting. We’ll work on writing prompts, engage in facilitated discussion, and talk about how “we are what we do,” which applies double for characters in a story.

Participants will:

  • Generate new material in response to workshop prompts;
  • Explore the importance of developing a character’s goals, hopes & dreams, traits & flaws, and then see how those all must be impacted by their obstacles & roadblocks
  • Start working on their sense of narrative timing and hooks;
  • Receive reading recommendations applicable to your writing goals.

Open to writers of all levels.

Class Limit is 20.


Decatur Co-Works. 708 Church Street, just one block from Decatur Square and convenient to MARTA.



$ 85.00

Biography: Thomas Mullen’s newest novel, Lightning Men, was named one of the Top Ten Crime Novels of 2017 by The New York Times Book Review and has been shortlisted for the CWA Historical Dagger. He’s the author of four other novels, including Darktown, an NPR Best Book of 2016, which was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Southern Book Prize, the Indies Choice Book Award, and was nominated for two CWA Dagger Awards; The Last Town on Earth, which was named Best Debut Novel of 2006 by USA Today and was awarded the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for excellence in historical fiction; The Many Deaths of the Firefly Brothers, which was awarded the Townsend Prize for best novel by a Georgia author; and The Revisionists. Two of his novels have been named Books All Georgians Should Read, and the Darktown series is being developed for television by Amazon Studios, Sony Pictures, and executive producer Jamie Foxx.

Contact Information:

Date(s): Saturday, November 3rd

Class time: 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Type of Class: Crash Course

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