Any writers wanting to explore, write and develop the characters in their story, as well as master the art of dialogue, should attend The Writing Studio’s brand new practical 2-day workshop. The Write Characters takes place at Screen Africa at Sasani Studios in Johannesburg on October 9 and 10, and at the Artscape Theatre Centre in Cape Town on October 30 and 31 (from 10am until 5pm).
All memorable and successful films, stageplays and television series have one thing in common – memorable characters that have become a part of our culture. Character is the essential foundation of story. It is the heart, soul and nervous system of your story. It is though character that audiences experience emotions, through the characters they are touched deeply.
“It is important to get writers away from their computers and give them a unique opportunity to embody their characters through performance realisation,’ says trainer Daniel Dercksen, who has been teaching workshops in scriptwriting and creative writing for Cape Town-based The Writing Studio throughout South Africa the past 16 years. “Writing is often a process that takes place in isolation, and a workshop like this makes it tangible.’
The Write Characters turns mundane and dull characters into vibrant and active heroes and gives writers tools to develop their creation: by making use of visual dynamics writers can explore the inner journey of the characters, and with structure balance the exterior and interior life of the character.
Writers will explore and develop their characters and write a scene that will be performed and filmed at the end of the workshop. The writers will be assisted by established directors during the workshop. This will give them an opportunity to step out of the writer’s box and experience how actors bring their creations to life.
The workshop is ideal for screenwriters, playwrights and novelists who would like to create the perfect balance between the external and internal journeys of their characters, and understand the relationship between the characters, thematic purpose and structure.
The workshop gives writers an opportunity to make the most of the people who live in their stories and breathe life into their characters, giving them a soulful journey of transformation. It teaches writers to develop active characters who are motivated to achieve their respective goals and overcome obstacles, and to bring characters to life that audiences can fall in love with and love to hate.
The workshop also allows writers to understand the difference between empty conversation and functional dialogue that reveals character.
Dercksen, a published playwright and writer, established The Writing Studio 16 years ago and has been a film and theatre journalist for 25 years.