Crafting Dynamic Characters

Learn how to create fully fleshed-out, dynamic characters and how to reveal them to the reader in a way that grabs their attention and captures their heart

48 On-Demand Lessons
5 Hours
16 Exercises & Handouts
Unlimited Access

"I feel more confident than ever in creating dynamic characters that readers will will fall in love with!"

- Terry T.

"Jessica and Mary's heart and soul in this course is appreciated and felt. I am becoming the writer I always knew I could be. "

- Rose H.

"Great depth, heart, detail, and practicality! This course is an excellent achievement, you both truly 'walk the talk'!"

- Jon S.

What You'll Learn in This Course

How to breathe life into flat characters

7 tools for effectively revealing your characters to the reader

What makes readers fall in love with characters

The 4 Foundations that make up all Dynamic Characters

The importance of accessing a character's "interiority" and how to use it to elevate your fiction writing

How to brainstorm and develop Dynamic Characters from the ground up

How to access the gray area between Showing and Telling in your writing

How to build and nurture the essential "reader/character" connection


Course Description

If there’s one secret to crafting dynamic characters who readers will remember it’s this: Connection.

The job of a fiction writer is not just to create interesting, compelling, and unique characters, but to weave those characters into the prose in a way that engages readers and connects them to the story.

Because you can have the most interesting, compelling, unique characters in the world but if you can’t effectively reveal those characters to your readers in a way that inspires them to keep reading, what’s the point?

Welcome to Writing Mastery: Crafting Dynamic Characters.

In this course, taught by character guru, literary agent and freelance editor, Mary Kole, you’ll learn how to not only create fully fleshed-out, dynamic characters, but also how to reveal them–and all of their wonderful nuances–in a way that grabs the reader’s attention, inspires their imagination, and captures their heart.

Mary Kole has been working with writers as a publishing assistant, literary agent, editor and writing teacher for more than a decade. She’s helped thousands of authors take flat, underdeveloped characters and turn them into dynamic ones that leap off the page.

In this course, Mary teaches her “secret sauce” for character success, centering around the concept of Interiority (the character’s inner life). Mary will break down, step by step the process of building and nurturing that invaluable reader/character relationship and provide you with 7 vital tools for weaving characters into your prose in an engaging way. Additionally, she’ll break down the Four Foundations of a Dynamic Character and walk you through the process of brainstorming and developing your own.

And throughout the course, she’ll give you tons of examples, actionable tips, and exercises to help you apply what you’ve learned and put your new skills to work.

By the end of this course, you’ll have:

  • A solid understanding of why readers fall in love with characters and what makes for an interactive reading experience (an essential component of any successful story)
  • 7 tools for effectively revealing characters to your readers in a way that engages them and makes them an active part of your story
  • A firm grasp of the 4 foundations that make up a dynamic character
  • At least one fully fleshed-out character that you can use to elevate a current work in progress or start a new story

Plus, along the way, in order to help solidify the skills taught in this course, instructors Jessica Brody and Mary Kole will take on each of the exercises in the course and share their results in fun, critique-group style “Instructor Jam” sessions. Seeing how professional writers approach the exercises will provide even more insight and context into how dynamic characters are crafted and revealed on the page.

This Course Includes:

  • Tons of fun, inspiring writing prompts designed to break you out of old patterns, get you thinking about character in a new way, and help you apply all the skills taught in the course
  • Examples from popular works of fiction to provide context and enhance your understanding of the material
  • Tips and advice from a true publishing-industry insider on how to make fresh choices, brainstorm with confidence, and elevate your fiction writing and character development skills

Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just starting out, whether you have an idea for a story, are revising an existing project, or just looking for inspiration, this course is sure to take your character development skills to the next level.


Course Outline

Meet Your Instructors

Former literary agent Mary Kole provides consulting and developmental editing services to writers of all categories and genres, working on children’s book projects from picture book to young adult, and all kinds of trade market literature, including fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and memoir.

She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and has worked at Chronicle Books, the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and Movable Type Management. She has been blogging at since 2009. Her book, Writing Irresistible Kidlit, a writing reference guide for writers of middle grade and young adult fiction, is available from Writer’s Digest Books.

Jessica Brody is the author of more than 20 novels as well as the #1 bestselling plotting guide, Save the Cat! Writes a Novel. Her books have been translated and published in over 23 countries and several have been optioned for film and television.

She’s also repeatedly hired by Disney Press to develop and write novels based on popular Disney properties like the Lego Disney Princess and the Disney Descendants franchises.

After creating several popular courses for writers, she’s excited to team up with character guru Mary Kole for this course on crafting dynamic characters!

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"Crafting Dynamic Characters" is part of our Writing Mastery Academy membership. Get unlimited access to our entire course library (below) for just $15/month.

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per year (SAVE $20!)

  • Unlimited access to ALL courses
  • Access to all future courses
  • Live webinars with Jessica Brody and guests
  • Access to the Writing Mastery Community
  • Surprise bonus content
  • Learn from any device
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Cancel anytime with just one click

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Our Promise: We think you'll love being a Writing Mastery Academy member, but if for any reason you don't, our membership is backed by a 30-day money back guarantee.


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Our Course Library includes:

Save the Cat! Novel Writing Course

Discover the secret storytelling code behind all great novels and use it to outline, write, or revise your own

Novel Fast Drafting Course

Stop stressing, second-guessing, and revising endlessly. Learn the fastest, most efficient way to write novels (and finish them every single time)

The Complete Novel Revision Course

Learn a time-tested, step-by-step revision process for taking your novel from first draft to final draft 

Crafting Dynamic Characters

Learn to create fully fleshed-out, dynamic characters and how to reveal them to the reader in a way that grabs their attention and captures their heart

Foundations of Fiction

Master the foundations of compelling fiction and use them to craft killer novels, memoirs, or short stories

Productivity Hacks for Writers

Learn to "hack" your brain, space, and devices to stay focused, be more productive, and get the most out of every writing day

Secrets to Self-Publishing Success

A comprehensive, step-by-step guide to successfully self-publishing and marketing your novel, with bestselling author Bethany Atazadeh

Develop Blockbuster Ideas that Sell

Unleash your creativity and brainstorm "high-concept" book and movie ideas that sell

Conquering Writer's Block

Proven strategies, techniques, and tools to overcome writer's block (for good!), and become a Prolific Writer

Sell Your Novel to a Major Publisher

A comprehensive, step-by-step  insider's guide to selling your book and becoming a paid, published author

Live Webinars

Monthly webinars (with Jessica Brody and special guests) where we deep dive into a variety of writing topics and answer your questions. Join live or watch the recording

All Future Courses

Members of Writing Mastery Academy always get first-look access to all future courses, with no change in membership price


What's Included in Your Membership

For only $15/month, you'll receive:

Unlimited, on-demand access to all courses (current and future)

Live "Members-Only" Webinar events with Q&A

Access to the Writing Mastery Online Community

Customizable Learning Paths to guide you step-by-step to your goals

Surprise Bonus Content!

Learn on the go (access courses on any connected device)

30-day money back guarantee

No contract; cancel anytime with just one click


What Students are Saying

"This course was a wonderful tool to help me understand character and character development! It's such an in-depth and comprehensive course, especially when combined with all the wonderful exercises and instructor jams. I'm excited to apply these techniques and practices while revising my recently completed first draft!"
- Anita P.

"Now I understand that character is really the foundation of a good story, and the majority of the plot and theme almost naturally flows out of knowing and understanding my own characters. It helped me recognize why some scenes in my story flowed effortlessly and felt right while other scenes felt wrong."
- Cathy M.

"It absolutely does help author to understand INNER & OUTER Motivation. The wound creates the need. The need is followed by the want and objective - I really, really get it now. It's all so good. " 
- Charles S.

"You and Mary are a magical team. The two of you are making my 75-year-old brain giggle. Now, I'm so excited to bring my characters to life. You've made me happy and excited to continue on with the course and my writing."
- Robin R.

"This course was really helpful in explaining character development. I was able to flesh out and add more layers to the main characters in my WIP."
- Claude C.

"There's a lot of useful information here, and it's presented very well, with examples and exercises for each part."
- Christian G.

"This was the best course on character I've ever taken. It really is a deep dive into how to create the right character for your story, as well as how to show them on the page."
- Meg F.

"This is a fantastic class that offers something for folks who have been writing a long time, as I have, and for beginners. Lots of good tips and insights to make characters more interesting, complex and nuanced."
- Kellye C.

"So in depth, so broken down into easily digestible, yummy little tid-bits of crafty goodness. I love it!"
- Kat L.

"Thank you Mary for creating such an AWESOME learning experience!!! You've inspired me and given me the tools that I soooo needed to build my confidence, to write, and create an amazing novel."
- Kellie S.

Frequently Asked Questions

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