Character Arc Mastery
The most comprehensive program for designing captivating, realistic character transformations for all your characters. Character Arc Mastery is the only writing program of its kind with a step-by-step process that not only shows you how to create plot-driven characters—but also how to begin outlining your story based on character growth.
Character Arc Mastery is a step-by-step program that shows you how to do exactly this. When you design a story this way, your character and plot are deeply intertwined, you drastically reduce writer’s block, and your story is a more rewarding read/watch.
This intensive addresses HOW TO:
This course includes
Students have course access for 365 days. All worksheets and notes are downloadable.
Character Arc Mastery is an intensive, which means it is a step-by-step process designed for specific, tangible results. It includes an extensive workbook that walks you through creating arcs for all of your characters, a thorough guide to the many arc types you can create, a best-practices guide to help you stay on track and finish, a guide for designing your story’s overarching surface and internal action, and more.
What People Are Saying
“This was an amazing lesson. I have been writing a novel that I have been working on for a few months now, but after listening to Barbara Vance and what she explained to do what not to do, how to improve on character development, what makes a character stand out and explained how to really develop a character. I went back re-writing a lot about my characters, changing much of the story to give the characters a better history, better development, and I feel the story is even more exciting now.”
“I had a great time with this class. I found Barbara explained several concepts that as an avid reader I am aware of but couldn’t quite put into words. I found her to be very engaging and easy to understand. I also liked how she gave several examples of the character arcs she was highlighting. I really appreciate the worksheets as well! Really wonderful class cant wait to make time to watch the others.”
“I appreciate that the instructor highlights the important lessons of building character arcs, but warns against using the core elements as a formula. There is space for nuance! Overall, this course delivers a solid understanding of different character arcs and how to execute them in your plot. I’d love a bit more information on how to insert character growth in scenes, but I plan to take her other courses to learn more.”
“I would definitely recommend this course for the reasons that it is very taut, it is intelligently done and it brings the process of storytelling to life like nothing else I have come across. Barbara’s courses break down the process in a very analytical manner which I absolutely love. It brings the elements into the process in an artful manner too that makes it so much more interesting and grounded.”
“This course really clarified many of the questions I’ve had about Character Arcs, for example, the “Arc Map” was extremely helpful. Barbara’s personality, energy, and tone kept my attention. I also liked that the topics are short, to the point, and not long on time. Finally, the project at the end was just great and extremely helpful. I will be taking all her classes.”
“Honestly take all of Barbara’s classes – if you want to learn how to really get started on your novel or long piece then her courses are unbeatable. She really explains all the terminology, uses clear examples and even provides printable resources! I can’t recommend her courses enough.”
“I love this and the way that Barbara explains. I couldn’t help going through different books I’ve read and start cataloging the arcs… And which ones I liked and disliked. It seems I have a type. Really, really helpful!”
“Barbara does a fantastic job making her content engaging and accessible through her bite sized lessons, easy to follow explanations, and her sharp enthusiasm! The only change that I would recommend is to add some visuals in her videos. Even as someone with a short attention span, it was easy for me to follow along!”
“I’m really enjoying the class so far. It’s putting a lot of terminology towards techniques and practices that I am already doing, but never knew the name of, and helping me understand those techniques further.”
“Another great detailed course with plenty of tips, explanations and examples. I’m learning so much with your courses. Thanks you very much :D”
“The very clear details and examples gave me the confidence to try this on my own. I found the class very engaging.”
“I really love this teacher. She is very expressive and gets her lessons across well with the help of interesting examples.”
“Resource material is real helpful. Great engaging presentation!”
“Very good and detailed class. Thank you.”
“Resource material is real helpful. Great engaging presentation!”
“Useful instruction and lots of great advice. This course is so helpful!”
“Enjoyed the class, very useful tips on character development!”
“As always, a lovely class from Vance!”
“Great speaker–very helpful I learnt a lot.”
“As always, a lot of great ideas, and a lot to think about. Thank you for sharing your expertise.”
“Another wonderful lesson!”
“This course is ideal for anyone who wants to write a novel.”
“Thank you so much!”
Barbara Vance, PhD
I am a writer and instructor who has been blessed to help thousands of writers bring their stories to life.
My degrees include a B.A. in literature, an MA in Literature and Creative Writing, and a PhD in storytelling and media. Prior to launching my own company, I taught writing and storytelling at a tier-one university.
Over the past sixteen years I have developed a widely acclaimed collection of courses designed to help writers develop their stories, stay on track, and finish what they start . . . even while juggling busy careers and a family.
I am also the author of a multi-award-winning poetry collection, and my poems are licensed for use in anthologies and curricula around the world.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Is this for experienced writers or beginners?
My students range from beginners to seasoned storytellers with MFAs in creative writing. While there is timeless story theory, I teach character-arc design in a unique way that does not rely on the formulas often found in writing books.
What if I don’t have a story idea?
That’s okay! This course offers two paths: one to help you design a character, the other to analyze characters from books and films you love. If you examine other stories, you will likely have a character/story idea by the time the class is over.
Is this a large time commitment?
Writing takes time, but this method will help you write faster because it walks you through a process that will keep you on track, prevent you from hitting common roadblocks, and will actually help you choose plot events. The lessons are bite-sized, and the class also offers a guide of recommended practices you can do to make the most of your writing time.
Will this help me plot my entire story?
This class focuses on connecting plot with character development (which is essential), but it does not get into detail on all aspects of plotting. If you want a more focused treatment of how plot works and how to structure your story, I recommend my Plot Essentials Workshop and my Great Scenes Megacourse (they are definitely not replacements for Character Arc Mastery)