Friday 9th August - ‘Fabulous Protagonists - their Creation, Development & Delivery’ Workshop - Southbank, London SE1

09 August 2024

Venue: Southbank, London SE1

Address: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London SE1

Date: Friday 9th August 2024

Time: 10am - 5pm

Workshop Number: SB090824

Price: £47 standard / £42 concessions (senior citizens/disabled persons)

Duration: 7 hours, including lunch/coffee breaks

Class Size: Maximum 10 students (6 required for workshop to proceed)*

(*Once enrolled, should the course not go ahead and there’s no alternative you’d like to transfer to, you will receive a full and immediate refund. Please note: refunds via PayPal or Eventbrite can take 3-5 working days.)

Format: in-group discussion & writing exercises via comprehensive worksheets.

Age: all ages, though 16s and under to be accompanied by an adult.

(I am DBS checked)

Workshop description: character is absolutely key to the success of our writing as our protagonists are the vehicles via which our stories are told. It is therefore imperative we develop our characters to their potential, and ensure we create the necessary bond between character and reader to deliver the very best reader experience possible.

We must create a compelling, interesting and more-ish protagonist (be they good or bad) that our reader can look forward to being in the company of - be that via the experiences your protagonist and reader share, the education your reader gains via the protagonists actions/events in the story, the thrill of walking a darker path alongside your protagonist, their acting as a window into a walk/aspect of life one may have shared/wish to learn about, the sharing and relatability of emotions - thus forming a strong connection, their strengths, weakness or flaws etc. Or for your reader to simply enjoy hanging out with your protagonist as we do with loved ones and friends.

Whatever your aim - it’s imperative we create protagonists with depth, thus allowing our readers to immerse into their company and enjoy it (or whatever emotion we wish to create) to the max. We’re creative writing - we’re writing to create a literary experience, so, relevant to your protagonist and genre, let’s go for it and create a truly fabulous protagonist.

Every year, my Aunt Jan would ask for the next Jack Reacher novel as her Christmas gift. Regardless of the plot line, she just wanted another 400 pages in the company of Reacher. Lee Child does such a wonderful job of bonding the reader with the character, thus making for such a compelling read and one of the most successful book series ever.

“I love Reacher for how he dishes out justice to the bad guys in a way that I and most of Joe Public, without the skillset or mindset, can’t - but deep down, so wish we could.” For my Aunt, that was the hook.

Sure, equivalent book sales to Lee Child would be a dream, yet initially - our goal must be to create that bond and connection between our protagonist and our reader. And to achieve this, we must get to know our protagonist inside out. Hence this workshop to achieve precisely that.

I know my protagonist - Bristo Trabant - inside out. I know his likes, dislikes, opinions, strengths, weaknesses, fears and what he loves to do when not on another MI6 mission.

Workshop Target Audience:

Held in the iconic and wonderfully-inspirational setting of London’s Southbank, this workshop is ideal for writers of all abilities, including beginners, and suitable for all genres, and writers of both novels and short stories.

Workshop format:

Via comprehensive worksheets, writing exercises and group discussion, the day is divided as follows:

10am - welcome, intros and discussion of the day’s content

10.30 - 1.30pm:

protagonist overview - who they are, the story they are in, why, where, when etc. plus a Q&A from me to really get you thinking

physical descriptions - we work on engaging descriptions to capture your reader’s imagination

backstory - where they come from, where they are now, and all the influences/experieces that make them who they are

1-1.30pm - a well-earned break for lunch, to refresh for the afternoon session.


random scenario 1 - how your character will react in certain situations (to be revealed on the day). Undoubtedly one of the best ways to further your knowledge of your protagonist

random scenario 2 - a different scenario to above, and with an almighty plot twist to keep both you and your protagonist on your toes - guaranteed!

* Just to say - during the sessions, you can, of course, grab coffee and refreshments (many students bring their own snacks/food) to maintain your energy levels. I hasten to add - it’s a fun and relaxed day, just scheduled as such to ensure you to get the upmost from it 😊

4.30-5pm - end of day round up, review, any additional questions

Workshop goal: to be a thoroughly interactive and great fun day, with all students leaving with an advanced understanding of their protagonists, of character in general, plus, a clear vision of how best to deliver their protagonist in a given story.


“Such an eye opener! My protagonist has been reborn as a much more rounded, colourful and exciting lead for my novel. In addition, the group discussion is excellent, warm, supportive, and Dominic’s enthusiasm is boundless.” Lizzy, Redcar

“I never realised there was so much to delivering a rich character until it was pointed out. The workshop is expertly structured, relaxed while covering a great deal of content. Worth every penny.” Chas, Ramsgate

“My novel is character driven, so I signed up for this without hesitation and it delivered. Without key plot events, I had difficulty keeping my narrative engaging. With Dominic’s guidance, I have injected new impetus and achieved what I hoped.” Elaine, Chiswick


Are there any session requirements? Yes, you’ll need basic written and spoken English skills to benefit from it.

Is previous creative writing experience required? No.

Are there any other costs? No, unless you wish to buy food or refreshments on the day.

Is there anything I need to bring? Just your own writing materials – pens, paper, laptop etc.

Refund policy: once enrolled, should the workshop not go ahead and there’s no alternative workshop/course you’d like to transfer to, you will receive a full and immediate refund. Please note: refunds via PayPal or Eventbrite usually take 3-5 working days.

To Enrol:

Please select from the ‘Workshop Prices’ drop-down menu, then enter the workshop number (SB090824), add any special instructions (e.g., is this purchase a gift? If so, who for? / do you, or the recipient, require special access etc.), then click ‘Buy Now’ to be taken through to your PayPal account.*

* Should you not have a PayPal account, alternative payment means are available. Please email me on to discuss.

Also, for any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thank you and I hope to work with you on your writing goals.

Best wishes & happy writing!


Dominic Canty

Course Details

Date: 09 August 2024
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
Location: Southbank Centre, London SE1
Cost: 47 / £42 concessions
Sessions: 1
Available Places: 10
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