Writing Science Fiction: Characters & Point of View

Populating your worlds with new lifeforms

Science fiction is known for its incredible world building, brain-melting ideas and imaginative technology. But a story doesn't come to life without engaging characters, no matter the genre, and this course is designed to help you infuse your sci-fi stories with memorable characters.

By the end of the course you will:

  • Understand the difference between archetypes and stereotypes
  • Know how to build characters through observation
  • Understand the importance of point-of-view
  • Be able to use first, second and third person perspectives
  • Be able to combine character and situations to generate a plot


Your Instructor

Ian Nettleton
Ian Nettleton

Ian Nettleton is from the north of England but he has lived in Norwich for two decades. His novelette, Falling Star, was published in a science fiction anthology, Angles, in 2008 and his novel, The Last Migration, was runner-up in the inaugural Bath Novel Award 2014 and runner-up in the inaugural Bridport Prize Peggy Chapman-Andrews Award 2014. He is represented by Sue Armstrong of the Conville and Walsh literary agency. He has a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of East Anglia and teaches creative writing at the Open University (undergraduate and MA) and the University of East Anglia. He is currently editing a literary thriller set in Queensland, Australia, called Out of Nowhere.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
This is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish and you can go through it at any speed.
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What do I need?
Our courses can be accessed on your desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile. All you need is a web browser. You don't need to install any additional software.
How long is the course?
We've designed this course to take between 3 and 4 weeks. As a self-paced course it's up to you how quickly you progress through the material - you can binge it in a week or spread it out over a longer period.

Get started now!

Photo by Adam Miller on Unsplash