Character Workshop Dec. 4 & 5, 21

Stephen Cleary’s 2-day Character Workshop



In writing for the screen, we are happy to think of plotting, and story structure, as the technical aspects of writing, the things you need to know about to make the story hold together. But it’s in the characters, we say, that the emotional centre of the story is found. And it’s in writing characters that the screenwriter most digs into themselves, their experiences, memories and emotions.

If plotting is the technical centre of the story, character writing is the emotional centre.

I don’t believe that. Of course emotion is involved in character writing, but there is a technical side to it too, a side that is often neglected. I can’t help a writer with the emotional side of character writing, that’s their own personal journey, but I think I can help open up some of the technical challenges of character writing, and in doing so help deepen your understanding of character and show you how to apply the things we learn together practically in your writing.

That’s what my new Character Workshop aims to do. It will show you, I promise, new ways of looking at character, and new ways of thinking about how characters move through stories. We will look at deep underlying patterns of character that are found in all stories, and how many superficially different characters work in very similar ways.  

We’ll look too at how the way you tell the character’s story gives just as much, if not more, emotional impact as the personal details of the individual character. And we’ll look at some interesting and controversial questions: do male and female characters work differently? Is understanding a character’s relationship to status more important than knowing their individual characteristics? Do audiences identify with characters, or situations? Are TV characters different from cinema characters?

If you have been to one of my workshops before, you’ll know it’s a mix of slides, clips, conversations and even friendly arguments sometimes. And when the two days are done, you’ll get a full set of notes sent to you, to remind you of all we have talked about.

The Workshop is suitable for screenwriters of all kinds, directors, producers, development executives and anyone interested in deepening their exploration of storytelling.

Stephen Cleary

When:    December 4 & 5 from 10.00 – 17.00

Where: Copenhagen

Price: DKK 1.500 + moms (both courses dkk 2.600 + moms)

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Advanced Plot and Structure Workshop, Dec. 1 & 2, 21

Stephen Cleary’s 2-day Advanced Plot and Structure Workshop


                               December 1 & 2nd from 10.00 – 17.00

If you are interested in exploring plotting and structuring stories at a new depth, then I have designed an Advanced Plot and Structure Workshop looking at different, more complex ways of understanding stories. Writers, directors, producers and story executives are all welcome. 

Screen stories tend to fall into sequences and it’s good to know how to understand how those sequences work, and then how to sharpen each sequence so the plot plays as well as it can. But what about stories that don’t move forward smoothly? What about stories that are non-traditional?

And how does the form shape the plotting? What’s the difference in the way the plot works in a single-protagonist story than in a multi-protagonist one?  What are the fundamental differences between genre plotting and drama plotting? Did you know that there are different kinds of plot twists that play out in different areas of the story? What are the different kinds of plot twists and when are the best times to use them?

Is it true that cinema plots work best with single protagonists whilst TV drama series work best with groups of protagonists? How does this effect the way we approach writing and developing these different kinds of story?

Finally, it’s obvious why having a good idea of your story’s overall plot structure is a good idea, but how can you use this knowledge to improve individual scenes, or groups of scenes?  What are the things a writer needs to understand about plotting before they start to write the big scenes, full of action and emotion, in their story?

The advanced Plot and Structure workshop will take your ability to analyze and understand the underlying structures of screen stories to a new level, giving you a new set of tools to apply in your everyday work.

Stephen Cleary

Where: Copenhagen

Price: DKK 1.500 + moms (both courses dkk 2.600 + moms)

Sign up please write to