Deep Characterisation Screenwriting Workshop at Raindance


Deep Characterisation: Screenwriters’ Workshop

(17 customer reviews)


With: Kira-Anne Pelican
Live Online Only via Zoom
Next Date: tbc, 16:00 – 21:00 UK time (11:00 am – 4:00 pm EST)
Price: £195
This course is Live Online Only and will not be recorded

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At a glance

  • Learn how to develop and analyse the characters using new techniques
  • Discover a completely new set of tools based on the very latest psychological research
  • Learn from a master of storytelling

What is ‘Deep Characterisation’

Think of any film or TV series that you loved and it’s nearly always the main character that stays with you – they’re engaging and believable. Presenter Kira-Anne Pelican delves into how to maximise engaging characters in ‘Deep Characterisation Screenwriting Workshop’.

For many writers, learning how to write deep characters is hard. It isn’t helped by the fact that many of the best-known approaches to characterisation are over-simplistic and grounded in pop psychology.

Using a completely new set of tools based on the very latest psychological research, this weekend workshop will provide you with the understanding you need to create compelling and psychologically-credible characters. You’ll learn what complexity in a character actually means, and how to achieve this when writing your own characters.

Deep Characterisation is an essential workshop for any writer who wants to master character psychology and capture their audience’s imagination.


About The Deep Characterisation Screenwriting Workshop

Deep Characterisation Lockdown is a 4-session, interactive character workshop covering all the tools that a writer needs in order to develop memorable and psychologically-credible characters.

Session 1 – Developing your character:

Saturday 12th December , 4pm – 6:30pm
  • Audit your character using tools from personality psychology
  • Learn how to develop a rounded and psychologically-credible character using the Five Factor model of personality
  • Develop your character’s complexities and nuances using the 30 facets of personality
  • Discover the ways in which you can make your character stand out from the crowd
  • Learn how to develop compelling character relationships that engage audiences and ring true

Session 2 – Getting your character down on the page:

Saturday 12th December, 7pm – 9pm
  • Learn how personality is expressed in dialogue and sub-text
  • Discover what a character’s fluency of speech, sentence structure and use of language tells us about their personality
  • Master the use of simple but highly effective tools to bring your character to life through speech and actions

Session 3 – Character goals and arcs:

Sunday 13th December , 4pm – 6pm
  • Discover the relationship between character motivations and box office
  • Learn the 12 different methods people use to get what they want
  • Understand when, why and how people transform

Session 4 – Emotions: Your character and your audience:

Sunday 13th December, 7pm – 9pm
  • Understand why some of the most memorable characters are sympathetic, while others are fascinating
  • Discover how to maximise audience identification with your character
  • Master the art of writing a fascinating character
  • Learn why some emotions are particularly powerful for filmmakers
  • Chart the highs and lows of your character’s emotional journey
  • Find the right ending for your story

Who Should Attend

The Deep Characterisation workshop is for all writers, directors and visual storytellers who want to better understand how to create engaging and believable characters using the latest research from evidence-based psychology. Bring along ideas for the character that you’re currently developing, and leave these sessions with all the tools you’ll need to bring your character to life on the page.

About the tutor

deep characterisation lockdown

Kira-Anne Pelican is a script consultant, a researcher and a lecturer in screenwriting, with 25 years of experience working in the British, American and Chinese film and TV industries, and author of The Science of Writing Characters: Using Psychology to Create Compelling Fictional Characters.

Kira-Anne began her career assisting director Stanley Kubrick in the production of Eyes Wide Shut (1999). Next followed a stint working within the BBC’s ground-breaking Virtual Studios department, after which she took posts as a Visual Effects Technical Director and then VFX Producer for ESC Entertainment, a Warner Bros company. After assisting in the production of The Matrix Revolutions (2003)The Matrix Reloaded (2003)Catwoman (2004) and The Ladykillers (2004), Kira-Anne retrained in screenwriting at UCLA. She wrote two original TV series which were optioned and developed by the BBC and ITV, before founding her screenplay consultancy in 2006. Since then she has worked with hundreds of writers and producers across the world. In 2017, Kira-Anne was awarded a PhD for her research into forecasting a film’s box office from its narrative.

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17 reviews for


Deep Characterisation: Screenwriters’ Workshop

  1. Ben Lewis (verified owner)

    Smart delivery of the subject,interspersed with lively questions and answers between Dr Kiri and the audience.Helpful slide presentation combining visuals and thoughts.For me the deep Characterization course provided me with a useful writing tool to apply to my writing endevours.Many Thanks for running this course.

  2. Lizzie (verified owner)

    Excellent course. Presented a really useful way of thinking about character design, definitely helped me to better understand my characters, how they interact, and how to bring them alive on the page. In turn, that’s really useful in developing story, making it more punchy and less neutral. Definitely recommend.

  3. Barbara Vonau

    very useful insight into how psychology can work for characterisation. I would have liked the course to have been spread over 2 days with more in depth exercises and examples of how different character traits will be expressed on the screen with their different facets, and also how this can be expressed in writing a script (for dialogue and action description etc). Useful slide set that allows to revisit the content and give it more thought when thinking about how to create a character. Thank you!

  4. John

    The course was competent. It’s a review of current American psychological research as applied to character. It was heavy on PowerPoint and light on magic pixie dust. We watched clips from Annie Hall, 4 Weddings and The Big Lebowski. More on nature/nurture, gender and cultural influences could have been helpful. Do people change? Can they ever really escape their parents? Is everyone capable of evil? Dr K was agreeable (4) and conscientious (5). If those numbers tell you all you want to know about character, this is the right class for you.

  5. David Turner FRSA

    Loved it. Helped me move forward with a story I’ve been writing for about 20 years! Also met some amazing likeminded encouraging people. Sign me up for more of this, can’t wait for the advanced course!!

  6. Sian (verified owner)

    Excellent, fast-paced canter through the application of personality psychology to screen characters. Deeper questions may linger for novel-writers, but an excellent practical tool for screenwriters. Gracious and knowledgeable tutor patiently answered even the most irrelevant questions. Having the slide deck emailed before the course took the pressure off trying to make notes of everything. Could definitely be done over two sessions – rich with potential – but even after one I feel that I have gained so much insight and have invaluable screenwriting tools at my disposal now.

  7. Aline Jewell

    I found this workshop brilliant. The individual and group exercises Kira-Anne applied throughout the day were particularly helpful not to mention her insightful answers to questions alongside a very enjoyable presentation of how to go about and write characters with depth and appeal. I would love if the workshop could be extended into two parts in order to have more time to work with Kira-Anne in the exercises.

  8. Robert Dee

    This was an excellent workshop. Tons of original information laid out in a very clear way. Kira-Anne encouraged everyone to engage and ask questions as well so you felt very supported. Going to be incredibly useful when developing my screenplay.

  9. PR (verified owner)

    I’ve recently been stuck on a character I’ve been writing and Kira’s class provided me with lots of methods and new ways of thinking about how to tackle creating complex characters. I’ve done quite a few screenwriting workshops in the past, and a lot of them are repetitive but Kira gave me a whole new perspective to look at characterization. She’s also super friendly and a good teacher.

    On another note, the Raindance building is not great, it’s very dark and without windows. It got very stuffy and gave me a headache.

  10. Sierra

    A lovely teacher with great information. If you have taken Psychology at Uni then perhaps not a useful class. Lots of great examples from popular media and great writing exercises with chances for group feedback. Really useful for developing characters and stories within a group setting.

  11. Barbara Vonau

    excellent two day workshop. Significant expansion of additional data from last years workshop which I also attended and enjoyed. Great opportunity for applying the learning to own character creation with writing exercises and sharing these for feedback and comments -very useful.

  12. Anjali Alford

    Excellent, well worth attending. Thought provoking too – great way to find out if you are on the right track or need to make some changes, the exercises were really useful too.

  13. Herty

    This workshop really does what it says. I had done some characterisation before I wrote my script, but the discoveries, education and understanding I got during this course opened my eyes. I’m going back to my script and when I resurface they WILL be AMAZING!!! Thank you Kira-Anne 😀

  14. g Fitch

    Very informative course, with lots of psychology and science. Different from the hero’s journey and not so heavy on Jung. Kira- Anne gave everyone the chance to ask questions and share their ideas in a supportive and lively environment.

  15. G Fitch

    The course was packed with up to the minute research and data. Many useful and grounded tips for fleshing out and deepening characters. There was lots of space to receive individual feedback and it was a brilliant space in which to share and learn.

  16. Lesley (verified owner)

    I attended Kira-Annes workshop this February and found it really fun and thought provoking, giving me much more to consider when drawing out believable relatable screen characters. Having written a couple of pilots already, I wish I had attended something like this earlier – it was also a lovely way to network with other writers and get pumped around the creative but sometimes lonely process of writing. Thank you Kira, like I said while on the course, I could talk about compelling characters all day! 😀

  17. Desiree Faust

    Kira-Ann’s deep characterisation workshop over two days was formidable. It was content packed and thorough, evidencing personality types and what attracts/repels audiences based on her recent PHD research. Wrt characterisation, I got more out of this course than my 40 year background in psychoanalysis and psychology. I fleshed out my main character for a TV series, her monologue and dialogue and even plots and action. This course is a must before any film writing endeavour. It was my first experience of Raindance training and I will certainly go back for more.

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