Crafting Dynamic Characters


Crafting Dynamic Characters

Learn how to write unforgettable characters in this online character development course

If there’s one secret to crafting dynamic characters who readers will remember it’s this:

Connection.


The job of a fiction writer is not just to create interesting, compelling, and unique characters, but to weave those characters into the prose in a way that engages readers and connects them to the story.

Because you can have the most interesting, compelling, unique characters in the world but if you can’t effectively reveal those characters to your readers in a way that inspires them to keep reading, what’s the point?

Welcome to Writing Mastery: Crafting Dynamic Characters.

In this course, taught by character guru, literary agent and freelance editor, Mary Kole, you’ll learn how to not only create fully fleshed-out, dynamic characters, but also how to reveal them–and all of their wonderful nuances–in a way that grabs the reader’s attention, inspires their imagination, and captures their heart.

Mary Kole has been working with writers as a publishing assistant, literary agent, editor and writing teacher for more than a decade. She’s helped thousands of authors take flat, underdeveloped characters and turn them into dynamic ones that leap off the page.

In this course, Mary teaches her “secret sauce” for character success, centering around the concept of Interiority (the character’s inner life). Mary will break down, step by step the process of building and nurturing that invaluable reader/character relationship and provide you with 7 vital tools for weaving characters into your prose in an engaging way. Additionally, she’ll break down the Four Foundations of a Dynamic Character and walk you through the process of brainstorming and developing your own.

And throughout the course, she’ll give you tons of examples, actionable tips, and exercises to help you apply what you’ve learned and put your new skills to work.

By the end of this course, you’ll have:

  • A solid understanding of why readers fall in love with characters and what makes for an interactive reading experience (an essential component of any successful story)
  • 7 tools for effectively revealing characters to your readers in a way that engages them and makes them an active part of your story
  • A firm grasp of the 4 foundations that make up a dynamic character
  • At least one fully fleshed-out character that you can use to elevate a current work in progress or start a new story

Plus, along the way, in order to help solidify the skills taught in this course, instructors Jessica Brody and Mary Kole will take on each of the exercises in the course and share their results in fun, critique-group style “Instructor Jam” sessions. Seeing how professional writers approach the exercises will provide even more insight and context into how dynamic characters are crafted and revealed on the page.

This Course Includes:

  • Tons of fun, inspiring writing prompts designed to break you out of old patterns, get you thinking about character in a new way, and help you apply all the skills taught in the course
  • Examples from popular works of fiction to provide context and enhance your understanding of the material
  • Tips and advice from a true publishing-industry insider on how to make fresh choices, brainstorm with confidence, and elevate your fiction writing and character development skills 

Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, whether you have an idea for a story, are revising an existing project, or just looking for inspiration, this course is sure to take your character development skills to the next level.

48 Video
Lectures

5 Hours
of Content

7 Tools to Elevate Your Writing

16 Exercises
& Handouts

What You'll Learn

Meet Your Instructors

Former literary agent Mary Kole provides consulting and developmental editing services to writers of all categories and genres, working on children’s book projects from picture book to young adult, and all kinds of trade market literature, including fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and memoir.

She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and has worked at Chronicle Books, the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and Movable Type Management. She has been blogging at Kidlit.com since 2009. Her book, Writing Irresistible Kidlit, a writing reference guide for writers of middle grade and young adult fiction, is available from Writer’s Digest Books.

 

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Jessica Brody is the author of more than 20 novels as well as the #1 bestselling plotting guide, Save the Cat! Writes a Novel. Her books have been translated and published in over 23 countries and several have been optioned for film and television.

She’s also repeatedly hired by Disney Press to develop and write novels based on popular Disney properties like the Disney Princess and the Disney Descendants franchises.

After creating several popular courses of writers, she’s excited to team up with character guru Mary Kole for this course on crafting dynamic characters! 

Who is this Course For?

What Students are Saying

5/5

"It's amazing! So in depth, so broken down into easily digestible, yummy little tid-bits of crafty goodness. I love it!"

-Kat L.

"As always, Jessica delivers an insider's knowledge and the tools to move forward in the process, now!"

-Sue M.

"This is ‘just in time’ knowledge for my first novel!"

-Johnny P.

"Great tools presented in a logical order from a passionate writer."

-Jürgen R.

"Jessica provides much more than a boatload...try a cruise ship FULL of tips, tricks, resources, and actionable steps."

-Tracy U.

"I finally believe I can make money on what I love to do most: write."

-John K.

"Well-organized, well-produced and dense with valuable content."

-Beth K.

"Just one word ....inspiring!"

-Ron G.

Get This Course
Plus Access to our Entire Library!

This course is part of our Writing Mastery Academy membership.
Get unlimited access to our entire course library for only $12/month. That’s 25+ hours of content to help you break through challenges and achieve your writing goals.

Our course library includes:

Save the Cat Novel Writing Course

Save the Cat! Novel Writing Course

OFFICIAL SAVE THE CAT! COURSE
Discover the secret storytelling code behind all great novels and use it to outline, write or revise your own

Novel Fast Drafting

Learn the fastest, most efficient way to write novels (and finish them every single time)

Crafting Dynamic Characters

Crafting Dynamic Characters

Learn to create fully fleshed-out, dynamic characters and how to reveal them to the reader in a way that grabs their attention and captures their heart

Foundations of Fiction

Foundations of Fiction


Master the foundations of compelling fiction and use them to craft killer novels, memoirs, or short stories

Productivity Hacks for Writers

Productivity Hacks for Writers

Learn to "hack" your brain, space, and devices to stay focused, be more productive, and get the most out of every writing day

Conquering Writers Block

Conquering Writer's Block

Proven strategies, techniques, and tools to overcome writer's block (for good!), and become a Prolific Writer

Sell Your Novel to a Major Publisher

Sell Your Novel to a Major Publisher

A comprehensive, step-by-step insider's guide to selling your book and becoming a paid, published author

Develop Blockbuster Ideas that Sell

Develop Blockbuster Ideas that Sell

Unleash your creativity and brainstorm "high-concept" book and movie ideas that sell

Fiction for Young Writers

Fiction for Young Writers


A fun, interactive workshop to help young writers unlock their creativity, improve their craft, and write better stories (ages 9 and up)

Productivity Hacks for Writers

All Future Courses

Members of Writing Mastery Academy always get first-look access to all future courses before they're released anywhere else!

What’s included in your membership

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Welcome to the Writing Mastery Academy with
bestselling author, Jessica Brody

Writing Mastery Academy
Membership

Get the Save the Cat! Novel Writing Course… PLUS access to the entire
Writing Mastery course library for just $12/month

Choose the plan that works best for you

Monthly

$ 12 per Month
  • Unlimited access to ALL courses
  • First-look access to future courses
  • Live Webinars with Jessica Brody
  • Access to the Writing Mastery Community
  • Surprise Bonus Content
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Cancel any time with just one click

Annual

$ 125 per Year
  • Unlimited access to ALL courses
  • First-look access to future courses
  • Live Webinars with Jessica Brody
  • Access to the Writing Mastery Community
  • Surprise Bonus Content
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Cancel any time with just one click
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30-day money-back guarantee

30 Day 100% Risk Free Guarantee

No-questions asked, 30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Our Promise: We think you’ll love our courses, but if for any reason you don’t, our membership and each of our courses are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Frequently Asked Questions

Instantly! As soon as you enroll as a member, you’ll get access to all Writing Mastery Academy courses, video lectures, and exercises.

Absolutely! The video lectures inside all of our courses are pre-recorded so that you can start the course and work through the lectures at your own pace. There is no need to show up at a specific time, you’ll be able to login and start watching at whatever time suits you best. You can also take each course as many times as you want!

You will need an internet connection to stream the video lectures. You can access the courses on any device: desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile. Some of the exercises will ask you to write (these are writing courses after all!) so, you’ll want either a computer or pen and paper close by!

Hopefully this won’t be the case, but if the content isn’t what you expected you can request a refund within the 30 day money back guarantee window.

Inside some of the courses, you may see the instructor recommend products or services to help you get results faster. However, these extra purchases are never required and you will still get all the benefits of the course without these extra tools.

You can always contact support for technical-related questions. For questions about the course content, you can post in the Writing Mastery Online Community to get feedback from other students or bring your questions to the Live Webinar Events.

Jessica Brody is unable to answer questions about course content outside of the Live Webinar Events.

The Live Webinar events with Jessica Brody are scheduled regularly (normally once per month). Members will receive emails for each event as soon as they are scheduled.

Start your journey toward Writing Mastery Today!

Enroll now and get unlimited access to
our entire course library (and more)!

Course Contents

Welcome and What to Expect:
What is it that makes readers fall in love with certain characters? Jessica introduces character guru, Mary Kole, who knows all about creating dynamic characters that leap off the page and into readers’ hearts.

Why is Character So Important?
Why do our favorite stories become favorites? Mary shares what she’s learned in over a decade of helping writers who struggle with character development.

How This Course Works
Mary breaks down the course and introduces the all-important concept of “interiority”.

The Most Important Question Readers Ask
Readers have one big question when they start any new story. Join Mary to learn what readers want to know most!

Character Quick Start: The Game of “And? So?”
Get a quick start on developing ANY character with this fun brainstorming game!

Instructor Jam – The Game of “And? So?”
Join instructors Jessica and Mary to see how they tackled the Game of “And So?”

A New Spin on Show vs. Tell
Think you know all there is to know about the old advice, “show, don’t tell”? Think again! Join Mary to learn the 7 Tools for Revealing Character.

Point of View
How will you convey your character’s experience? Mary breaks down the most common types of Point of View and shares advice on how to choose which one best suits your story.

Tool #1 – Revealing Character Through Thought
Mary breaks down Tool #1: Thought, and shows how accessing a character’s thoughts can play an important role in building a dynamic character.

Exercise – Penny for Your Thoughts
Exercise to practice revealing character through thought.

Instructor Jam – Penny for Your Thoughts
Join instructors Jessica and Mary to see how they tackled the Penny For Your Thoughts exercise.

Tool #2 – Revealing Character Through Reaction
Mary breaks down Tool #2: Reaction, and shows how in order to build a strong interior life for your character, you also need to focus on the exterior.

Exercise – Reaction Shot
Exercise to practice revealing character through reaction

Instructor Jam – Reaction Shot
Join instructors Jessica and Mary to see how they tackled the Reaction Shot exercise.

Tool #3 – Revealing Character Through Dialogue
What a character says can be just as important as what they think or do! Mary breaks down Tool #3: Dialogue, and shows how the three main types of dialogue can reveal who your character is.

Exercise – What’s Really Being Said
Exercise to practice revealing character through dialogue.

Instructor Jam – What’s Really Being Said
Join instructors Jessica and Mary to see how they tackled the What’s Really Being Said exercise.

Tool #4 – Revealing Character Through Voice
Writers are always told their work needs to have an interesting or compelling voice. Mary breaks down Tool #4: Voice, and explains what Voice actually is, how to develop it, and how you can use it to reveal your character to your readers.

Exercise – Voice Extremes
Exercise to practice revealing character through voice.

Instructor Jam – Voice Extremes
Join instructors Jessica and Mary to see how they tackled the Voice Extremes exercise.

Tool # 5 – Revealing Character Through Emotion
Mary dives deeper into character with Tool #5: Emotions, and shows how you can begin layering the previous Tools to effectively reveal a character’s emotions on the page.

Exercise – Emotional Taboo
Exercise to practice revealing character through emotion.

Instructor Jam – Penny for Your Thoughts
Join instructors Jessica and Mary to see how they tackled the Emotional Taboo exercise.

Tool #6 – Revealing Character Through Inner Struggle
Mary breaks down Tool #6: Inner Struggle, and shows how the four types of inner struggle can reveal a lot about your character.

Exercise – Easily Triggered
Exercise to practice revealing character through Inner Struggle

Instructor Jam – Easily Triggered
Join instructors Jessica and Mary to see how they tackled the Easily Triggered exercise.

Tool #7 – Revealing Character Through Other Characters
Characters shouldn’t go it alone! Mary breaks down Tool #7: Other Characters, and shows how our secondary characters play a big role in revealing the protagonist.

Exercise – What Can You Do For Me?
Exercise to practice revealing character through Other Characters

Instructor Jam – What Can You Do For Me?
Join instructors Jessica and Mary to see how they tackled the What Can You Do For Me exercise.

The Four Foundations of a Dynamic Character
Now that you’ve learned all the 7 Tools For Revealing Character, Mary introduces the four key Foundations of a Dynamic Character and explains how you can use them to create, brainstorm, and develop a dynamic character of your own!

Exercise – Meet Your Protagonist
Exercise to begin fleshing out your protagonist. If you don’t already have a character to work with, you’ll receive a randomly generated “Practice Protagonist” that you can work with and develop throughout the course.

Instructor Jam – Meet Your Protagonist
Join instructors Jessica and Mary to see how they tackled the Meet Your Protagonist! exercise

Foundation #1 – Wounds
Mary introduces Foundation #1: Wounds, and explains how the wounds of your character’s past create the conflicts that makes them worth reading about!

Exercise – Wounds
Exercise to practice developing your character’s wound.

Instructor Jam – Wounds
Join instructors Jessica and Mary to see how they tackled the Wounds exercise.

Foundation #2 – Needs
Wounded characters turn into characters with Needs. Mary introduces Foundation #2: Needs, and how they play a role in shaping the interiority of great characters.

Exercise – Needs
Exercise to practice developing your character’s need

Instructor Jam – Needs
Join instructors Jessica and Mary to see how they tackled the Needs exercise.

Foundation #3 – Objectives
What is your character after? Mary moves from a character’s past to their present and introduces Foundation #3: Objectives.

Exercise – Objectives
Exercise to practice developing your character’s objective

Instructor Jam – Objectives
Join instructors Jessica and Mary to see how they tackled the Objectives exercise.

Foundation #4 – Motivations
Why does your character want what they want? Mary answers that all-important question with Foundation #4: Motivations, and shows how all four foundations come together to create dynamic characters readers love.

Exercise – Motivations
Exercise to practice developing your character’s motivation.

Instructor Jam – Motivations
Join instructors Jessica and Mary to see how they tackled the Motivations exercise.

Secondary Characters and Antagonists
Chances are you’re not writing a story with only one character. Other characters bring conflict and complexity to a story, and Mary explains how to create well-crafted Secondary Characters, including a villain readers will love to hate!

Growth and Change
Human beings don’t stay the same, and neither should your characters. Learn what it means to create characters who grow and change over the course of your story.

Next Steps
So, what’s next? Mary will introduce some options for moving beyond the tools and foundations you’ve learned in this course. No matter where you are on your writing journey, you’ll have plenty of choices!

A Work in Progress
Some final pieces of advice from Mary on creating your own dynamic characters.