Psychology-driven character creation

Writing a novel sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it?

But sometimes, the further into the process we get, the harder it is to keep writing.

Writing a book can be complicated and intimidating, which is why a lot of us give up after doing some world-building, or when we hit the halfway mark and realise we don’t have enough plot to sustain a book.

Then, when someone asks us at a family gathering, ‘How’s the writing going?’ we recoil because it’s not going anywhere. Our lifetime goal of publishing a book has never felt further away.

Instead of being creative and happy, we end up stuck and directionless. And because we still haven’t finished that WIP, our confidence takes a hit, too.

Learn a replicable system that works

While we all want to be strong, independent writers, the hard truth is that while writing book is a solitary activity, we just can’t finish one alone.

Before we sit down to write alone we need to understand what makes a great book—and it’s not what we were taught in our high-school English class.

I’ve got a hard drive full of half-finished writing projects because when I first started out 15 years ago, I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t have anyone to guide me.

It’s only through trial and error that I’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t. This has helped me come up with replicable and adaptable systems that are simple and effective for any genre.

About Kristina Adams

As well as being the author of 20 books, I’ve been featured on the BBC, the Self-Publishing Show, the Indy Author Podcast, the Rebel Author Podcast, and Activated Authors. I co-hosted The Writer’s Mindset podcast for two years, too.

My blog, The Writer’s Cookbook, helps tens of thousands of writers every week to learn and grow whether they’re just starting out or they’re further on in their writing careers.

Kristina Adams and Millie the westie headshot

How to prevent writer’s block

When it comes to writing, there’s no quick fix—much as we want one.

The more planning and research and learning we do before we get started—or when we get stuck—the easier it is to get over those roadblocks, whether they’re plot holes, confidence issues, or two-dimensional characters.

On the days when you don’t know what to write, quite often the quickest solution is to go back over your plan or do some research on what you’d like to cover.

Because the reason you’re stuck is that you don’t know what you’re writing about in enough depth. This technique works regardless of what genre you write or how many books you’ve already published.

Creating characters with depth—using psychology

After a lot of failed writing experiments and studying many different writing techniques, I came up with a process that helps me get to know my characters on deeper psychological level.

This way, I can create plots that exploit their weaknesses and play to their strengths. Plots that are stronger because of who my characters are (and aren’t).

It also makes my writing more engaging and interesting to read. And that’s easier for me to write. 

It’s called the Character Creation Crash Course.

About my Character Creation Crash Course

My Character Creation Crash Course will help with your writer’s block without taking loads of time and energy from your day. And without stripping you of your creative process, whether you’re a pantser or a plotter.

It’s broken down into short classes that teach you about different elements of your characters. You can dip in and out based on what you need to know about them.

Every class uses the latest psychological research to look into what makes us human and how we can apply that to create more believable characters.

The plot of every great book is about characters trying to overcome their fears, their faults, and their failures.

So to write a book that satisfactorily covers these things, you must first understand these key areas and how they impact someone’s everyday life. That’s what we cover in my Character Creation Crash Course.

What you could learn

You’re just a couple of clicks away from learning about how all these things impact your characters:

  • Demographics
  • Appearance and body language
  • Physical health
  • Mental and behavioural health
  • Location and surroundings
  • Family, friends, and childhood
  • Animals
  • Past relationships
  • Current relationships and love interests
  • And much more!

Understanding even just some of these things will make your characters will feel more human to you.

And your plot will be easier to create because you’ll understand one of the keys to creating character-centric plots: cause and effect.

A lego character reading a page from a book

Want to hire an editor? Stop!

A developmental editor can definitely pick up on all of these things. But the more work an editor must do on your manuscript, the more expensive editing gets.

It’ll also be harder for you to make those changes because the more notes you get, the more mentally draining they are to make. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been published, it still stings when you get a manuscript back from an editor with loads of plot holes and character issues highlighted.

Which is why it’s way more effective if you can fix them yourself. You’ll also give your editor less work and a more enjoyable story to work on.

You can save yourself a lot of money on editing costs by self-editing your manuscript as much as possible first. When you do this, you also get better quality feedback from editors because they’re spotting things you never would’ve considered.

I’ve used these techniques on my previous books and it really helped me when I switched genres from romance to fantasy (and back again).

Knowledge from this course means I know exactly who my characters are and what challenges them. Planning and outlining are easier because I know how my characters experience the world before I write my first draft. It also means my books need less editing. Woohoo!

How to access your classes

All course materials are available via Thinkific, in video and written format.

You can work through them at your own pace, dipping in and out based on what area you feel is most relevant to your work in progress.

Or, if you prefer, you can go through the order that’s laid out for you in your Thinkific dashboard.

Character creation crash course dashboard preview

Bonus 1

Learn how to weave everything you learn together to create well-rounded, interesting, engaging characters. They’ll feel so real everyone you talk to about them will think they actually are.

Bonus 2

Two writing activities to help you put your new psychology skills into practice: character interview questions and a writing activity called Would Like to Meet. You’ll come away with a greater understanding of what drives your characters and how to apply it to your writing.

Change your future

When you’ve studied my Character Creation Crash Course, you won’t have to worry about answering Uncle George’s dreaded question: ‘how’s the writing going?’

You’ll be able to answer with confidence, feeling like you’re making great progress on your book and your loved ones will get to hold a copy in their hands very soon.

Or, there’s the other option: you could keep trying to figure it out yourself.

And get further away from your goal of writing, and eventually publishing, your work in progress.

The longer you delay finding solutions, the harder it gets to go back to your writing.

And the more insurmountable any writing issues you’ve got feel.

Meaning eventually, you stop writing completely and never go back to it again.

Or, you could dive into it now, build your mindset, and build your characters?

Total value

Characterisation skills: $200
Psychology skills: £200
Plotting skills: £200
Editing skills: £200
Developmental editing: £2000+

Total: £2800

Not sure if it’s for you? You’ve got 14 days from date of purchase for a full refund if you can prove you’ve tried the techniques and they weren’t for you.

Put your dreams first

Every day you’re not working on your book or trying to find a way to get closer to your goal, the further away you are from achieving it—and the more impossible it feels.

Investing in your writing career shows yourself—and those around you—that you really are serious about growing as a writer and publishing your book.

Committing in this way has a surprising impact on the people around you. You may find they’re more respecting of your boundaries, willing to offer moral support or be a sounding board, and generally be more helpful towards you achieving your goals.

Success stories

Thank you so much! I am just at the beginning of my writing journey, and this course has given me so much information to help writing realistic well-rounded characters in my stories.


Wonderful insight for a beginner writer. I really enjoyed this course. I am new to writing, and it gave me a deep perspective of how important it is to know who my character is, and gave a clear path on how to figure it out.


Frequently Asked Questions

What if my books are plot-heavy?

It still works! When characters have more depth it makes your plot stronger and your world more vivid. You don’t have to neglect one over the other.

Now, more than ever, writing plots that are related to characters’ internal motivations is key to building a deeper relationship between your characters and your readers. This is what will keep them coming back to your stories and to your worlds.

Who’s the course aimed at?

Anyone who wants to write stories that have well-rounded, realistic characters who are as human as you and me. Whatever your genre, the techniques in my Character Creation Crash Course will work because they’re about what makes us human.

How long is the course?

It’s 24 classes, with each lesson between 5 and 30 minutes long. There are also transcripts available if you’d prefer to learn by reading instead of watching.

Some also come with activities to do at the end. How long you spend on those activities will impact how long the course takes you to complete.

What order should I study the materials in?

It’s totally up to you. You can follow the order that’s laid out, or choose the classes that are of the most interest to you/most relevant to your WIP first.

Where can I sign up?

Character Creation Crash Course

Overhaul your writing process forever.

Success stories

A really helpful breakdown of character arcs in their different types, with examples and formulas which not only made things very clear, but made the lessons learned immediately applicable to my work in progress. I’d recommend this to anyone looking to add depth to their characters and weave their different arcs into a cohesive and coherent plot. People always say that genre novels are heavy on plot, whereas literary novels are heavy on character. You know what? Get them right and you can have both a riveting plot and wonderfully realised characters. This course will help you achieve that.

About Kristina’s How to Write Character Arcs workshop

G.M. White


It revealed my characters’ true feelings without being direct. Great exercise. It helped me see my other main character is actually jealous of the protagonist. I found the dialogue between the two characters changes over the course of the story, as their level of self-confidence changes.

About Kristina’s How to Write Realistic Characters workshop

Di Scotte

The workshop is great for those who want to have strong characters but don’t really know how to do that. As a person who loves characterisation and considers it very important, I found Kristina’s advice to be wonderfully encompassing of the main points of what a character arc is, why it’s important, and how to make improvements. Her way of explaining things is very clear and engaging. If you have trouble with characters and don’t understand how to help a character grow across the arc of your story, this course is a perfect fit for you.

About Kristina’s How to Write Realistic Characters workshop

Cassie Kelley