Mastering Character Arcs

Presented by Peter Andrews

April 4 - 29, 2022
Cost:  Free for RWAOL members.  $30 for non-members.  
Public welcome.

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About This Workshop

One reason we come to fiction is to experience the changes characters go through. And, while the external journey from maid to princess or farmer to Jedi knight may create engaging challenges, we identify with characters because they learn how to trust others or master their tempers or become their true selves. They go on journeys where they learn who they are and how they fit in. They overcome their flaws, form connections, grow up and heal. The internal change is shaped and forced by their external tasks, giving them arcs that delight readers. This class will help participants to honestly assess the flaws in characters they love. They'll look to how hard choices avoided make things worse and how choices faced with courage bring growth, understanding... and credible happy endings.

Course syllabus:
Lesson 1 What’s wrong with my hero?
Lesson 2 Go big or go home
Lesson 3 The role of external challenges, escalation
Lesson 4 Caring about the internal struggle Worrying about characters
Lesson 5 Meeting the unexpected (and stumbling) No smooth roads
Lesson 6 The consequences of failure
Lesson 7 Help along the way, reflections
Lesson 8 Reasons to change/not to change.
Lesson 9 Pushed to the limits (McKee)
Lesson 10 The right ending for an arc
10 Lessons/4 weeks 

About The Presenter

Peter Andrews is a full-time, independent writer of speeches, articles, and blogs. He has dozens of short stories and hundreds of nonfiction articles in print. He has worked professionally in PR and as a Web producer, speechwriter, and radio producer. He teaches writing for the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, Westchester Community College, the Westchester Center for the Arts, and various online venues. He belongs to the National Association of Science Writers and Romance Writers of America, and he is past president of RWA’s young adult chapter (YARWA). His How to Write Fast blog can be found at

Visit Peter Andrews

What You Need to Know

  • Deadline to register:  April 4, 2022.
  • You do NOT need to be a member of RWA® or RWAOL to take this class.
  • RWA® Online conducts all workshops via a discussion board system located on this website.  However, access to the site is restricted by login and password to ensure that the workshop is only available to those that are authorized to attend.  This is not an email loop workshop.
  • For questions, contact us through our contact form.