COURSES - West Dean College
Ruth Brandt is a Prize winning Writer and Creative Writing Tutor in Surrey. She runs Courses and Workshops in Surrey

West Dean College

I am a short course tutor at West Dean College, near Chichester, West Sussex. West Dean College is a centre of excellence and a unique place to study. The 19th century house is surrounded by acres of gardens and views of the South Downs, providing wonderful tranquillity and inspiration for writers.
 
My courses are suitable for writers of all ability levels. Plenty of support and feedback is provided.
 
Creating Fictional Characters
21-23 February 2020, Friday-Sunday
Your characters are key to your story, indeed the only reason your story can take place. Whether you are writing short stories, novels, plays or screenplays, this course will help you to write characters that will keep readers and viewers engaged.
 
On this course you will learn the importance of writing unique and interesting, three-dimensional characters who have clear motivations which bring them into conflict with their worlds. You will learn how dialogue and action can be used to deepen your characters and reveal their relationships, as well as showing their morals, attitudes, emotional states and opinions. You will study the impact of setting on characters, what makes a character stereotypical and the reasons we avoid writing stereotypes, and the similarities and differences between characters and real people. You will consider the lightness of touch needed when describing characters.
 
Working in a supportive, encouraging environment you will explore each of these areas through class discussions and written exercises. Regular feedback and guidance will be provided by the tutor. There will be plenty of time for independent writing in and around the inspirational College and gardens.
 
By the end of the course you will have developed an understanding of the importance creating unique and engaging fictional characters, and written and edited several pieces. You will leave with increased writing skills, new ideas for creating characters and the confidence to write more.
Inspiration from Experience
29-31 May 2020,
Friday-Sunday
Whether you are writing directly about your life or writing fiction, ultimately you base your stories on your experiences and those of others – the common human experience. This course will use life’s experiences as a source for your writing and will help you to bring them alive so that readers will want to keep reading.
 
This course will consider the reliability of memory and use techniques to help you remember details from your past. It will look at the importance of observing with a writer’s eye in order to lay down rich memories in the first place, which will in turn provide inspiration for tomorrow’s stories. You will practice the skills needed to write about people so that they appear real and unique thus creating engaging characters. You will learn how to describe places you have visited or lived and use them as a source for your stories. Throughout the course you will practise writing in a way which makes your experiences vibrant and interesting.
 
Working in a supportive, encouraging environment you will explore each of these areas through class discussions and written exercises. Regular feedback and guidance will be provided by the tutor. There will be plenty of time for independent writing in and around the inspirational College and gardens
 
 
  • Ruth Brandt Creative Writer and Tutor
  • Ruth Brandt Creative Writer and Tutor
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