Dramatizing Internal Conflict

Write your characters’ internal struggles with powerful emotions that keep the reader wondering what happens next.

Everyone Has things they value and want

But Often, these desires conflict

Character-driven stories are ones in which the reader gets a front-row seat to a person wrestling to choose between opposing desires or make them work together somehow. These struggles are what make the action in the story dramatic.

Plot Essentials demystifies the storytelling process by outlining the essential components that make a well-structured story and showing how they work together.

By the end of this course

You will understand how to...



conflicting values that maximize drama and character development.



internal conflict scene by scene, building to a climax.



Ensure your character’s struggles drive the plot and create suspense.



characters who are consistent, despite having opposing desires.



inner conflict vividly using exposition, action, and dialogue.

No waiting to get started.
You can complete the course as soon as you want.

Infuse drama into your story by showing a character’s internal struggles.

Does Your Character or Plot Feel Flat?

One of the biggest reasons writers struggle to create dramatic, character-driven plots is that they don’t properly demonstrate the protagonist’s internal battles. But the most gripping story conflict is found precisely in the character’s heart and mind!

if you...

This course is for you.

I specifically design all of my courses for those currently writing or planning to write. Every writing exercise is also a reading analysis exercise so that you can dissect your favorite stories, learn what makes them great, and then apply that to your own work.

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Here is the mistake many writers make...

They don’t correctly demonstrate the internal struggle in small ways throughout the story, which means:

I want you to avoid these issues!

Writing the wrong way wastes precious time. It is no fun spending hours, days, weeks, even months writing a story only to conclude it doesn’t work. Instead, you want the reader to:


FANTASTIC CLASS. This helped me answer some questions that I have been struggling with, or better put, drew me a little closer to finding my groove with those topics. The tricky dilemma of "show, don't tell" (in order to show something, you MUST tell something else); pacing the story; and my favorite, reconciling the story on my mind with the structural frame.



Overcome your story challenges

This Course Shows you How

I have personally walked many students through the story-creation journey, and I designed Character Arc Mastery to help you avoid all of the common pitfalls.

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If you're ready to dive into your story then join Character Arc Mastery and let’s get started!


A Track Record of Student Success

Hear What they have to say

Sixteen years teaching thousands of students.

Barbara is a wonderful teacher; she gives us some insights that are so helpful. I was trying to write a short story, and by watching this class, I could come up with better ideas and better understand of how to write something more meaningful. 10/10!!

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Conflict is the basis for any story. This is a concept that applies to all genres. Barbara's advice can even help you highlight the conflict in nonfiction works as well as fiction. This course is a must-watch for all creative writers.

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I love how animated Barbara gets. Makes the class more entertaining and the info more memorable.

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I like how Barbara breaks down how you should approach conflicting values. The examples were clear and concise.

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I am an actor in-development, and I am working on a scene a month to improve my acting skills; this is a very great breakdown of how to create conflict in the character. It just so happened that I was working on a scene from Mr. Robot, Elliot, and he is confronting a man about his sins. I was struggling with how to play this scene, but this video gave me insight and sparked ideas immediately that is going to help me define this role and hopefully act it a more interesting and truthful performance. Thank you for your video.

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What's inside...

We will begin by examining how a character’s wants can be made to conflict so that you maximize drama in your plot. You will then discover the three essential questions you must answer when planning internal conflict.

Next, we will address how you create a consistent character when she is struggling to choose between more than one thing.  You must write a character who demonstrates inconsistent behavior while remaining consistent at her core.

We will then focus on how exactly you write inner conflict into your story scene by scene.

Finally, we will discuss how to bring this drama to life with our descriptions, character action, and dialogue.

You then have a fantastic workbook that walks you step-by-step through planning this conflict in your own story!

Workshop Lessons:

Break Free From Restrictive Rules That Don't Fit your Vision

All of the lessons and the final worksheets are designed to help you not only write your own work, but also to analyze the stories you love best so that you can learn from them. No forcing your story into a formula.

If you're ready to dive into your story then join Dramatizing Internal Conflict and let’s get started!

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This full workshop includes:

Risk Free | Guarantee

100% Risk-Free Money Back Guarantee

My Dramatizing Inner Conflict Workshop will give you the clear overview you need to craft dramatic inner struggles that develop characters and drive the plot. It is actionable, thought provoking, and designed to help you write the best story in less time.

I have taught character and story development for years to THOUSANDS of students, and I know what works.

If you take the course and don’t feel like your character’s growth is better defined and more connected to the plot, simply reach out to us, show us you have made an effort, and we will refund your full investment. Full details here >>

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Ready to Bring Your Character’s Drama to Life?

I have taught thousands of students and creative professionals how to craft their stories, and this workshop will provide the overview you need to get going. It will introduce essential plot and character development strategies overwhelm, and it will absolutely help inspire your work. I genuinely recommend you get started with Dramatizing Inner Conflict if you are motivated by any of the following . . .


Don’t Waste Time Writing the Wrong Way

My students and clients range from professional storytellers with MFAs in creative writing to beginners just dipping their toes in the storytelling waters, but one thing they all have in common is a tight schedule. It is hard to carve away precious hours to write in between work, family, and life. This workshop will give you the necessary tools to make the best decisions for your story so that you don’t waste your time writing chapters that end up being tossed.


Reach New Levels of Creativity

Outlining your story in advance can supercharge your creativity and make writing infinitely easier. When you make a skeleton of your story, you are essentially helping to put some clay on the potter’s wheel. I have seen the formidable blank screen cause many writers to freeze and not write anything.

If you are a planner, the workshop workbook exercises will let you get highly detailed with every internal-struggle scene. If you like to have the plot unfold as you write, you are welcome to use the lessons here to create an overarching vision and then see what happens!

If you are in the middle of a story, working through the workbook exercises will get you unstuck and back on track so that you can move forward.


Apply Step-by-Step Guidance to Write

This workshop contains a workbook that walks you step-by-step through planning your own character’s internal struggles. This speeds up your writing process, helping you avoid writers block and write even better stories.

You will not only determine the drama you want to show, you will map it out scene by scene.

Like all of my courses and workshops, you can also use every exercise to analyze a work you love so you can learn how the author achieved the desired effect and then employ that in your own work.

Very helpful writing advice that I don't often see covered in other lectures.

Bearded Man Green


If you're ready to dive into your story then join Dramatizing Internal Conflict and let’s get started!


A Little About Me...

My name is Barbara Vance, and over the past sixteen years I have helped thousands of students bring their stories to life.

What started as an early and sincere delight in literature turned into focused study on what makes stories good. How do they work? This culminated in a PhD in storytelling and media, and a subsequent position at a tier-one university.

But I wanted to do more. I wanted to reach more people and provide them not just with the knowledge I had accumulated over the years, but also actionable, step-by-step processes that would help them find and develop their characters and stories, stay on track, and finish what they started . . . even while juggling busy careers and a family.

As a published author and educator, I don’t just understand story; I understand storytellers, and the rewarding, albeit sometimes challenging process that articulating a vision can be.

So I created a collection of proven courses that delve deeply into the components of great stories and how to write them.

It is a joy to help so many find their voice, discover their story, and get it done.

I Don'tJust Know Stories; I know Storytellers.

This workshops is based on 16+ years of helping writers through their biggest plot and character development challenges. I made this so you can avoid the common pitfalls.

Sometimes we know our story is off, but we aren’t sure why.

Many writers have a character in mind they love. They may even have a plot to go with it. But once they start writing it just doesn’t feel like everything is coming together. Conceptually, it seems like it should be a compelling story. And it may well be!

Based on my 16+ years’ experience teaching storytelling, when a plot falls flat or a character who should be interesting isn’t, there is an issue with how the character’s growth is being dramatized.

Readers might show up because they think you character is interesting, but they will stay because they think her journey is interesting.

We grow through our inner struggles. If you don’t plot them correctly your plot may not get off the ground.

This inner-conflict overview gives you plenty of great information to help you plan your story or get unstuck from the one you are in. It is one of my classic and most popular workshops.

I cannot encourage you enough to invest in your creativity! Writing stories can change your life, and understanding the nuances of story design will make you a more creative, independent writer. I am so excited for your storytelling journey, and I wish you well with your writing!

All my best,