Character and Conflict


Learn how richly drawn characters are the key to fostering compelling conflict in this reading- and exercise-based workshop.

Starting at $720.00
As few as 10 weeks

What you can learn.

  • Develop unique and interesting characters whose traits trigger conflict in your work
  • Explore how successful writers craft characters by studying published works
  • Build rich inner and outer lives that make your characters realistic and relatable
  • Learn how conflict in your work is intrinsically linked to who your characters are

About this course:

One of the most misunderstood concepts in the craft of fiction writing is the relationship between character and conflict. A story can involve a complex character with fascinating thoughts, ideas, and interests, but without a conflict that motivates the character to act, the ensuing story will be stagnant and flat. In this class, we explore, through our own writing and through published work, how to create richly imagined characters and how to challenge them with conflicts that threaten their hidden, most deeply held desires, forcing them to act in ways that change the world around them. Each week, we read sample fiction to identify craft tools that help us determine and convey the flaws in our characters, flaws that then help us pick a conflicted situation to push our characters into action. Weekly writing exercises put theory into practice and help you discover what works (and doesn't) in your own writing practice.

Winter 2023 Schedule

Date & Time
This section has no set meeting times.
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Instructor: Ross Showalter
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ENROLL BY: Jan 18, 2023
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Enrollment limited to 15 students. Internet access required. 

This online course is conducted through Canvas, a secure website that allows students to log in to access lectures, discussions, and other course materials on demand. There are no required class meetings. Each course is structured with weekly assignments and deadlines. Lectures and coursework are accessible throughout the week. Workshops are conducted in writing via discussion boards with your instructor and classmates.

Refund Deadline
No refunds after February 01, 2023
Course Requirements
Internet access required to retrieve course materials.

Contact Us

Speak to a program representative. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.
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