Class: Hallie Ephron - Creating a Compelling Protagonist

A Special Mystery Writers Conference 2023 Pre-Conference Class

Creating a Compelling Protagonist:
Making The Reader Care

Friday July 21st, 9:00 – 11:30 am PT

Corte Madera in-person class


A crime fiction editor once told me that when she reads a manuscript, she’s looking for a protagonist so compelling that readers will care about what happened to that character before the book opens and what’s going to happen to that character after the book ends. That character’s journey should be transformational so that by the end of the novel, they are changed in some fundamental way. And what makes the transformation matter is often some experience in that character’s past that motivates them to “get it right this time.”

In this workshop, we’ll walk through the process of planning and developing a compelling main character--from coming up with a name to finding those details that ignite their first appearance. We’ll also explore elements such as: how to use character to drive a narrative voice, how to deepen viewpoint, and how to develop compelling character relationships and conflicts.


New York Times bestselling author Hallie Ephron, Edgar Award finalist and five-time finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award, writes books she hopes readers can’t put down. Her newest suspense novel, Careful What You Wish For, with its echoes of Marie Kondo life-changing decluttering tips, explores the relationships built by professional organizers and their clients — showing just how easily the lines between professional and personal can be blurred.


Read more about the 2023 Mystery Writers Conference here.



Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925