Turn boring characters into brilliant people with better backstories

Flat characters are every writer’s worst nightmare. They’re boring to write, boring to read, and they’re likely to kill your book sales…if you get far enough into the writing process to sell your book, which you may not if your flat character gives you a heavy dose of writer’s block.

You’ve tried more world building, a more detailed plot, maybe even done some character research, but still, something is missing.

I get it. I’ve been there. When I started my first series, I thought I knew exactly who my characters were. The further into the novel writing process I got, the more I realised I didn’t actually have a clue. I needed to go back to basics, to walk before I ran.

Getting to know my characters before I started writing—or at least, earlier on in the process of writing a five-book series—meant that it was done for the rest of the series. I knew how events that’d happened before the books impacted them, and how the events of previous books caused them to change over the duration of the series.

All this meant that future books became easier to write because I had more time and energy to spend on being creative and pushing my characters outside of their—and my—comfort zones.

About Kristina Adams

Over the last eight years, I’ve taught writing to hundreds of writers across the globe, both in person and online.

My 19 books have been #1 for numerous categories around the world on Amazon and Apple Books, and I’ve been featured on the Self-Publishing Show, The Creative Penn, The Rebel Author Podcast, Activated Authors, Huffington Post, and the BBC.

Before I published my first book, I graduated with a BA and MA in Creative Writing.

Even though I’m no longer at university, I’m still always studying, and one of the topics I love to study is psychology.

Understanding psychology means I know why backstory matters to people and characters, and how you can apply it to your stories.

These techniques can be applied to any genre to create a more engaging plot alongside characters your readers want to succeed. It gives more depth to even your most heinous characters and gives you more fodder for your plot, too.

Kristina Adams and Millie the westie headshot

Discover who your characters really are

Discovering who your characters really are will generate new ideas you never would’ve thought of. You’ll feel more inspired, with a renewed sense of enthusiasm to get creating your work in progress.

I discovered a way to get to know your characters that makes them feel so real your readers might just think they’re based on real people (even if they’re not).

In my new class, How to Write Better Backstory, you’ll discover who your characters are without wasting words. You’ll learn what drives us, as people, to do the things we do, and ways to turn your characters into active participants in your plot, not passive observers.

What’s inside

✅ One thirty-minute video talk on why your characters need a better backstory, featuring editor Silvia Lopez

✅  A 40-minute video class breaking down the 8 key elements of a character’s backstory:

?‍?‍?‍? Parents
?‍♀️ Siblings and other family members
? Religion and culture
? School life and friends
? Romantic partners
? Work life and colleagues
? Physical and mental illnesses
? Stress and trauma

All accessible via your Thinkific members’ dashboard, which is created when you join the course if you don’t have an account already.

Be your own editor

Paying a developmental editor to pick up on this stuff will cost you thousands of dollars for every book you finish. This easy-to-follow class will help you identify—and solve—your character issues in your own writing, potentially saving you all that money in the process.

What I love about figuring out a character’s backstory is that once you’ve done it, you have it for the rest of your series. And it improves your first book as a result, because you’re not using your first book to figure out who your characters are—you already know it.

This process makes it so much easier for me to write and publish alongside my busy schedule. It’s also effective despite my fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and ADHD, conditions that mean I often get brain fog or have trouble concentrating.


How to Show Who Your Character is

Learn how to show what your character really feels using the 4 types of language explored in this 2-hour bonus lesson. It’ll bring your characters’ backstories to life, add depth to their interactions, and make them feel more human to you and your readers.

How to Write Realistic Characters

Enhance your characterisation skills with this hour-long interactive workshop which includes several activities and challenges you can use on your own characters or ones just for the workshop.

A preview of the How to Write Character Arcs course on a monitor, showing a slide that says 'types of character arcs'

How to Write Character Arcs

Learn how to weave in what you’ve learnt about backstory into your book to create a character-driven plot. We’ll use the classic 1999 film The Mummy as an example. Then, you’ll explore the elements of plot and why things happen in a certain order using an example plot.

How to Write Backstory: £25
Show, Not Tell: £25
How to Write Believable Characters: £25
How to Write Character Arcs: £25
Total: £100



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.

Make your writing process easier, faster, and stronger

All this character development means writing your book will come easier and faster to you, whatever stage you’re at.

You’ll also have so much stuff for your next book it’ll be way easier to write.

When it comes time to publish, your readers will form a deeper connection with your characters, making them excited for the next book and increasing your revenue. (And who doesn’t want that?!)

Success Stories

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

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 How to Write Character Arcs workshop

G.M. White

Kristina has a caring a passionate approach to what she does. She has helped me to control my need to add every possible idea into my story and to write a coherent and compelling plot as well create realistic characters. She instils confidence into you and helps you wade through the all the negativity that writers put themselves through, helping you find the positives. I highly recommend Kristina as she has a vast publishing history to back up her credentials.

About Kristina’s author coaching

E.V. Rivers

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I watch it?

How to Write Better Backstory and How to Show Who Your Character Really is will be available to you as soon as you’ve signed up. You can find them at any time by visiting shop.writerscookbook.com.

Are transcripts available?

At this moment, transcripts are available for some classes, not all.

How is it delivered?

How to Write Better Backstory is an online class that you can watch any time you want. It’s hosted on PayHip under the subdomain shop.writerscookbook.com. If you’ve purchased other courses by The Writer’s Cookbook, you may already have an account. Your new courses will be added to this existing account.

Get four workshops for the price of one

Four workshops. One opportunity to overhaul your writing process.