This coming Saturday—30 January—I’m holding a workshop on how to write character arcs.
But how do you know if it’s the right workshop for you? If any of these sound familiar, the workshop will be able to help you:
1. You don’t know what a character arc is, just that you need one
Even seasoned writers (like myself, five years ago), don’t always know what character arcs are. It’s ok to admit that.
But if you do know what they are—and what to do with them—your writing will be much more powerful.
Why? Because it will make your characters feel more realistic.
Since books are about people going through challenging or different times, it makes sense that they’d come out a changed person. Knowing what your character arc is ensures that the journey they go on ties into your plot and what you put your character through.
2. You don’t know where to start creating character arcs
So you know you need a character arc. But what now? Where do you go? What do you do?
Well cover the structure of a character arc, as well as how to create one, how to include it in your plot, and when it can relate to your subplot.
3. You don’t know if/when/how your character should arc
How do character arcs apply to your character? Story? Genre?
It’s a misconception that characters in plot-focused genres like action or thriller don’t need to arc.
If you look at the most popular books or films from these genres, the characters go through an emotional journey that’s tied to the plot. They come out changed, somehow, whether that’s for better, for worse, or a little bit of both.
In this workshop, we’ll look at how character arcs work in with plot-centred genres and how you can include them.
Don’t worry if you write in a less plot-heavy genre, like romance. We’ll be covering that, too!
4. You want to improve your characterisation in your writing
Characterisation is a big part of writing. After all, you—and your readers—have to spend hours and hours in the company of your characters, so they have to be relatable and interesting to read.
Character arcs are just one of the key ways you can bring your characters to life. They’re one of the most well-known, but they’re also one of the most advanced techniques.
5. You don’t get how character and plot work together
One of the biggest questions I get asked is how to make character and plot work together. Can they? Should they?
Well, the simple answer to both of these question is a huge YES!
But weaving them together in a way that works is the real challenge.
Take this example: a character’s sister dies. In the next chapter, they’ve moved on even though it’s set the next day.
There’s a difference between someone looking like they’ve moved on, and having actually moved on. If you’re writing about them, you need to get inside their head.
And there’s no way anyone has moved on from the death of a loved one that quickly. Even Norman Bates couldn’t handle the death of his mother. That’s why he kept her corpse in the basement.
How it’ll work
This is a workshop we’ll be teaching live. To get the most out of it, it helps to turn up live, but if you can’t, you’ll get lifetime access to the replay.
Some theory, some activities
The workshop will be structured into some theory, some practice, and questions at the end.
We’ll start off with the theory of why and how stuff works, analyse an example or two, then go into how to do it yourself with some activities.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not focused on a particular idea yet, either—the example we’re using will be purely for this workshop. But you’re totally welcome to carry on with it after!
You’ll need some Post-It Notes, a Word Doc, or a planning program like Scrivener or Novel Factory. Somewhere you can move things around easily, to help with the activities. The activities won’t be linear, so being able to move things around is really important.
Get your questions answered live
Ellie and I will cover questions at the end, giving you a one-off chance to get tailored advice on your character arc and development questions. Just this bit alone is worth the entry price! You won’t find writing advice like this for this price anywhere else.
Lifetime replay access—even if you can’t watch live
While it’s recommended to join us live so that you can submit your questions, if you can’t, you’ll still get lifetime access to the replay.
Turn up in your PJs
I actually really hate being on camera. So if I don’t have to be, I’m not. I avoid it as much as I possibly can. (No, really. I just like talking a lot.)
If you’re camera shy too, don’t worry! You don’t have to be on camera at all. Everyone’s microphones will be muted except for Ellie’s and mine. The recoding will also only pick up on what we say.
When it comes to asking questions, you can submit them in written form in the chat.
Dedicate time to your writing
Dedicating time to your writing—and yes, that includes studying it—sends a clear message to yourself and the people around you that you’re taking your writing seriously.
You’re not doing this for shits and giggles; you’re serious about improving your writing and making a career out of fiction writing…even if they keep insisting it’s a pipe dream.
Make a commitment to your writing
When you make a financial commitment to something—no matter how small—you make a statement that this is more than just a hobby to you. You’ve got skin in the game, which means you’ve got something to lose if you don’t take advantage of what you’ve paid for. And I don’t just mean the workshop itself, here—I mean putting into practice what you’ve learned.
When you dedicate time and effort to your writing, it’s powerful. To both you and the people around you. This means you’re more likely to prioritise your writing above things like watching cat videos on YouTube. Others will notice this and start to respect your writing time more.
These changes won’t happen overnight, but investing in your writing—financially, emotionally, and timely—sends a simple message to everyone.
Solve your character AND plot problems
Characters and plots don’t have to be two completely different things. Whatever genre you write, if you link the two together, you’ll find the writing process easier, your characters will be more believable and realistic, and your readers will be more interested to find out what happens next.
Commit to your writing craft
Anyone in my Character Creation Crash Course gets access for free as part of their membership, along with my next two lives in February and March.
If you’d prefer to just join for my How to Write Character Arcs workshop, rather than joining my Character Creation Crash Course, click the image below.