Charting Your Character’s Arc Webinar and Workshop

Charting Your Character's Arc Webinar and Workshop

Webinar: February 5 & 6, 2022 | 9AM – 4PM Pacific
Workshop (Optional): February 19, 2022 | 9AM – 4PM Pacific
Where: Online via Zoom web conferencing
Price: $100 – $350
Scholarships Available

Riveting, evocative storytelling hinges on the choices your characters make. These pivotal choices are not necessarily the high action moments in your plot, but they are the moments that define who your character is and becomes. By charting a handful of critical moments of choice in your story, by examining the pressures and risks at each moment, by taking into account how your character’s identities inform their actions, and by understanding deeply how your character pushes against their history and environment at each step, you can create a powerful mini-outline.

This character arc outline can empower you to ask more strategic questions about your plot, pacing, sequence of scenes, your dramatic tension, what clues you provide the reader and when, and about your character’s agency, identity, and journey.

On webinar Day 1–How Your Characters Navigate Their History–author Stant Litore will walk you through how to chart your character arc in a way that allows you to use that arc as a potent tool for outlining or revision, and we will discover ways to explore how your characters push against their history.

On webinar Day 2–How Your Characters Navigate Their World–you’ll discover how your character pushes against their environment and how the exciting fictional world you create exerts pressures on your character and creates unexpected opportunities for plot.

The material covered in this webinar will be relevant regardless of your genre or topic; after all, a fictional world can be as big as an imagined universe, or as local and intense as a crime scene or a dining room table. By the end you will be in a better position to review your narrative (or your vision for it) and identify where you’ve left gaps, where you’ve taken too long, and where there are additional opportunities for both nuance and suspense in your character’s journey as they struggle to become (or remain) who they need to be.

Optional: Workshop Your Character Arc (+$250)

In the workshop portion, writers will get the opportunity to share and refine their character arc with peers and workshop leaders Stant Litore and K. Tempest Bradford. (More workshop leaders will be announced in coming weeks.)

As guided in the seminar and in a private forum open in the two weeks between the webinar and workshop, you will bring with you a chart of the critical moments of choice in your story. During the workshop, you will be divided into small groups; in each of these groups, we will collaboratively investigate and refine this character arc.

We’ll take a look at what elements could be heightened or added to key scenes, what critical scenes might be missing or understated, how these moments of choice can be better prepared for, and what opportunities exist to bring your character alive on the page with greater complexity and excitement, in ways that tighten your plot and develop and deliver on your story’s thematic concerns. You will also learn from the workshopping of your peers’ character arcs.

You will leave the workshop with a more defined and vigorous vision for your character’s conflict and actions and with fresh and specific ideas for structuring your story to maximize the emotional and dramatic impact for your character and the reader.

The workshop is limited to 16 participants. You must attend the webinar to take part in the workshop.

Who Should Take This Class?

Writers of all genres — Literary, YA, Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Children’s Books, Romance — and narrative mediums — Prose, Playwriting, Screenwriting, Graphic Novels. The webinar portion will be useful even if you’re not at the revision stage as you can use the tools you learn later and on any project. The workshop will be more useful for writers who have the full plot/story of their work (short or long) figured out, even if it’s not completely written.

Both webinar and workshop will be especially useful to alumni of our Creating Diverse Characters or full Writing the Other classes and workshops, though this is not a prerequisite.

Course Format and Schedule

The webinar will run from 9AM – 4PM Pacific Time (click here to convert to your time zone) on Saturday and Sunday with breaks throughout the day, including a longer break around the halfway point so participants can eat a meal.

We will record the webinar for archival purposes and all participants will get a copy. We are not selling Video Only registrations for this class. Please only register if you are able to attend as we have limited space.

The workshop will run from 9AM to 4PM Pacific Time, also with breaks. Writers will be divided into small groups with one workshop leader each. In these groups, you will collaboratively investigate and refine each person’s character arc. Please plan to attend the full day’s workshop and not only your critique.

The workshop will not be recorded.

Required Texts

Please buy the following texts before class begins.


Both webinar and workshop take place in Zoom. We will provide closed captions auto-generated by Rev or by Zoom. The class mailing list will be through Google Groups. The private forum uses WordPress. All of these services are accessible to students using screen readers.

If you have questions about potential needs, or if there are any other ways we can make a class accessible for you, please contact us before registering and we’ll answer within 24 hours.

Full and Partial Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships are available for both the webinar and the workshop.

If you do not have the financial means to pay for all or part of the registration cost for the class, we encourage you to apply.  We have a broad definition of financial need that ranges from writers who do not have the money at all to writers who have the funds but can’t afford to use them for a writing class. We especially encourage writers who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to apply. Wherever you exist on the financial needs spectrum, don’t self reject! (Still not sure whether you should apply? Read this post.)

Additionally, in acknowledgment of the difficulty Palestinian writers may have in accessing resources and the obstacles their voices face in being heard, we have decided to set aside 4 scholarship spots to writers of Palestinian heritage.

IMPORTANT: We set aside scholarship spots ahead of opening registration. Even if the webinar or workshop sell out before the deadline, scholarship spots are still reserved. If you plan to apply for a scholarship you do not need to register below.

If you can afford to pay for part but not all of the registration fee, please apply for a partial scholarship. Under this financial aid plan you can let us know the amount you can afford. If you cannot afford to pay at all, please apply for a full scholarship. 

To apply, please fill out this form. You’ll be asked to provide:

  • A brief (300 or fewer words) statement of financial need.
  • A brief (500 or fewer words) description of a work or works you hope the webinar will help you with.
  • If you customarily identify as POC, BIPOC, or BAME, you may indicate that if you wish.

Deadline: 11:59PM Pacific January 22nd, 2022. We will notify all applicants of their standing by January 29th. If you have any questions, please use our contact form to ask!

Refund Policy

If you find that you need to drop the class, you may do so by requesting a refund via Eventbrite.

If you drop out of the webinar by January 23rd, you will receive a full refund minus a service fee.

If you drop on January 24th or after you will not have your registration fee refunded. However, you will get a recording of the webinar.

You must attend the webinar to take part in the workshop.

If you drop out of the webinar & workshop by January 19th, you will receive a full refund minus a service fee.

If you drop out by January 23rd you’ll receive a 50% refund.

If you drop the webinar & workshop on January 24th or after you will not have your registration fee refunded. You will get a recording of the webinar.

Register Below

If you have a Gift Card, discount, or code to access tickets, please click the “Enter promo code” link in the Registration box below before you begin the process. If the box below gives you trouble, click here to register on our Eventbrite page.