Creative Writing Novel Workshop - Success with Characters
3.7 (21 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
762 students enrolled

Creative Writing Novel Workshop - Success with Characters

Learn how to create compelling characters that go from being merely protagonists to being heroes.
3.7 (21 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
762 students enrolled
Created by Thomas Myron
Last updated 8/2017
Current price: $44.99 Original price: $64.99 Discount: 31% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • 3 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Know what separates an ordinary protagonist from a hero.
  • Know why so many characters fail to catch reader interest.
  • Be able to create characters that the reader will WANT to win, and can cheer on to the end of the book and beyond.
  • Know why so many characters seem uninteresting.
  • Be able to create engaging characters that will have the reader on the edge of his seat.
  • Know why readers usually aren't invested in characters (meaning if one fails, the other does as well).
  • Learn how to create characters that transcend the novel and actually mean something to the reader, creating high reader investment.
  • A desire to learn about character creation and development in fiction writing.
  • An interest and passion for fiction, and writing fiction.
  • No materials or software needed! You do not need to be an experienced writer to take this course, or even a writer at all. All you need is an interest in writing and a willingness to learn!

Never write a weak character again! Using short, easy to digest lectures, this course will go over: 

  • The common misconceptions of character development, and why they are wrong. 
  • The differences between a normal protagonist and an actual hero. 
  • What your characters need to grab reader interest, hold it, and actually mean something to him. 
  • Clear steps to develop your own characters. 

If you're a new writer just getting into characters, or an experienced author looking for a better understanding of what makes a character work, this course is for you. After this course, you will never again wonder why your characters turned out the way they did, and better still, you'll be able to fix them. 

Take this course, and with it take control of your character development, and gain a clear understanding of the inner workings of all characters. 

Who this course is for:
  • Writers interested in fiction and novels. This course is NOT for nonfiction writers.
  • Writers struggling with creating/developing characters.
  • Writers who find that their characters are not engaging readers, and don't know why.
  • Writers who want a deep and clear understanding of what character development is, and what makes a powerful character work.
Course content
Expand all 24 lectures 02:07:14
+ An Introduction to Writing and Character Development
4 lectures 15:50

This lecture will give you a quick overview of the course as a whole. Be sure to take it, as you'll be able to see what the course will cover ahead of time, as well as learning some important things about teh course before you get started. I'll also give you some important information on how to get the most out of Udemy courses using the Q&A feature. 

Preview 05:16

Matrix Writing is my own personal method of writing. In this lecture, I'll explain how it works, and why I use it to write my own novels. This is the process that the entire course is based off of, so this is a very important lecture. 

Preview 02:00

Theme is the single most important aspect of developing novels. In this lecture, I'll explain exactly why it's so important, as well as just how much it helps your creative writing and novels. If you're interested in learning more about theme, I recommend that you take my course on it. 

Preview 03:47

Now we get to the character development. In this lecture, I'm going to explain a very important concept that gives rise to all the other character development talked about in this course: larger-then-life characters. I'll explain exactly what this means, as well as why it is SO important when writing your novels. Additionally, I'll explain the logic most writers have when developing characters, and I'll show you exactly where things go wrong and how to fix them. 

Preview 04:47
+ Strength
3 lectures 19:19

In this lecture I'll explain exactly what strength is and why the characters of your novel need it. I also include some examples of strength, showing why a character with it is far better than one without it. 

Strength - Heroic Qualities

Sometimes a novel writer wants to write a character that's dark, evil, or just plain unheroic. The inexperienced author usually messes these characters up and can't figure out why they aren't working. After this lecture, not only will you know why, but you will also know how to write a dark protagonist - or any other character - correctly. 

Dark Protagonists

Strength can be divided into two types of showings - small and large. In this lecture, I go into detail about what each type is like. Additionally, I've included a downloadable PDF with  examples and further notes on both. I'll show you an example of including both in a novel later on in the course. 

Incorporating Strength into your Novels
+ Inner Conflict
5 lectures 30:58

You've probably heard of inner conflict before, but in this lecture I'll help you to break free of the fog of misconception that surrounds the topic. Most writers interpret inner conflict as something completely different than what it truly is. Discover not only what it is, but what it is designed to do and how it accomplishes it. 

Defining Inner Conflict

Inner Conflict is a very complex part of character development, and understanding how to create it is an all-important step to understanding exactly what it is and how it works. IN this lecture, you'll discover the basics of creating inner conflicts for your novels, and the characters of your writing will become far better for it. 

Creating Inner Conflict

It is easy to get lost in inner conflict. One way to avoid that is to have a good understanding of what main conflict is. Main conflict is the conflict of the story; inner conflict is the version of main conflict exclusively for the heroes. Therefore, having a good understanding of what makes up a main conflict is essential to understanding how an inner conflict works. In this lecture, learn what constitutes a main conflict, and how an inner conflict is different. 

A Word on Main Conflict

In this final lecture on what inner conflict is, I discuss the sides of inner conflicts. Inner conflicts are made up out of two sides, and understanding the nature of those sides is necessary to understanding the inner conflict itself. In this lecture I go over what kinds of sides there are, and how they drastically simplify the process of creating inner conflicts. 

The Sides of Inner Conflict

If you thought creating inner conflict was difficult and confusing, you're in for a surprise: you need to develop the inner conflict. An undeveloped inner conflict is mediocre at best, full of holes and shaky on balance at worst. The process of developing innner conflict will not only identify and fix all problems, but it will push your inner conflict to the max, making sure that you and your readers get the most out of it. 

Developing Inner Conflict
+ High Worth
2 lectures 09:53

High Worth is a simple, yet confusing aspect of character development. It is so similar to strength, inner conflict, and even some parts of stakes, that it is often confused with all three. High worth is actually a very separate aspect, though it can take the place of strength or inner conflict. In this lecture, learn exactly what it is and why you need it. 

High Worth

In this lecture, learn how to create high worth. Begin the process of giving your characters value, forever disabling your readers' ability to forget about them. Once you've made high worth, you have the reader in the palm of your hand, and the ability to draw him to the edge of his seat at any given moment is yours. Use it well. 

Creating High Worth
+ Steps for Developing Characters
10 lectures 51:14
Going Through the Steps with an Example Character

In this lecture, go through the process of defining what your character's strength is. Learn how to find the qualities and traits that make up your character, and discover which one is central to the theme, and suited to become strength. 

Step 1 - Define Strength

Simply knowing a hero's strength isn't enough; the reader has to know it as well. In this lecture, figure out how to show your hero's strength. Determine what kind of showing you will need, down to exactly how the showing unfolds. 

Step 2 - Strength Showing

Start looking at your hero in depth, and figure out the inner turmoil within him. Deduce what drives it, what makes unsolvable, and why your hero is locked into it until the very end of the novel. 

Step 3 - Define Inner Conflict

Work with the inner conflict of your hero, and make sure it cannot be solved until the very end. Make sure it has to be dealt with, both by the reader and the character. Leave the hero no path of escape. Develop your inner conflict to accomplish this and more. 

Step 4 - Develop Inner Conflict

Now that you've seen exactly how the development works, it's time to take an inner conflict fo your own creation, and try developing it. It will be harder than you think, so smooth out the difficulties and the problems now, so that you don't face them when creating the inner conflict of a real novel. 

Exercise - Your Inner Conflict

In this final part of character development, create your character's high worth. Determine if it separate, or combined with strength or inner conflict. Figure out how it came to be, and why the hero is driven to adhere to his personal code or belief. Give your hero value. 

Step 5 - Create High Worth

In this final step, add in all the character development you've done so far into your synopsis. Then, go through it paragraph by paragraph, watching for any place where you can test your hero's high worth. Learn to identify where the hero's struggle becomes the darkest, where only by clinging desperately to his high worth despite everything else will he ultimately triumph. 

Step 6 - Put High Worth at Stake

A brief conclusion to this course, thanking you for your time and wishing you the best in your written endeavors. Good luck! 

Bonus Lecture: Expand Your Knowledge with My Other Courses