Crafting Dynamic Characters (Writing Mastery)

Write and develop unforgettable characters for your novels and short stories!

4.66 (271 reviews)


5.5 hours


Aug 2020

Last Update
Regular Price

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What you will learn

What makes readers fall in love with characters

How to breathe life into flat characters

7 tools for effectively revealing your characters to the reader

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 develop your character's "voice"

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


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


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, (and developed with bestselling author and #1 bestselling Udemy instructor, Jessica Brody) 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.

This course was produced and co-instructed by bestselling author Jessica Brody as part of the Writing Mastery series whose courses have over 35,000 enrolled students and over 5,000 5-star reviews on Udemy!

In this course, Mary Kole 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 4 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.

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

"[This course] is amazing and it has been quite helpful!" - Siya S.

"Unbelievable information" - Richard R.

“This is ‘just in time’ knowledge for my first novel!” - Johnny P.

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.


  • 8 writing courses

  • Over 5,000 5-star reviews!

  • Over 35,000 students enrolled

  • Average 4.6 stars!

"Just, WOW!  FULL of tips, tricks, resources, references, and actionable steps" - Tracy

"Superb. Clear and engaging - Dan

"Thorough, accurate, and well-presented --I would recommend Jessica Brody’s courses to any writer eager to rise." - Mark

"Jessica Brody's courses are all thorough, entertaining, and extremely helpful." - Tricia

"As always, Jessica Brody delivers an insider's knowledge and the tools to move forward in the process, now!" - Sue

"Very informative and well worth the time and cost." - Noel

"Clear, concise, & well-narrated with an abundance of enthusiasm." - Christopher

"This course is worth far more than the price of admission!" - Talmage

"Jessica Brody has a gift for distilling lots of hard-earned information into concise and tasty bites." - Katherine

"If you write (or plan to write), get this course" - Scott

"I have learned so much information that has helped me in the writing process." - Christy

"Good pacing, great tools, wonderful ideas... loving this course!" - Regina

"Love the videos. Very easy to understand and lots of great tips!" - Lisa


Crafting Dynamic Characters (Writing Mastery)
Crafting Dynamic Characters (Writing Mastery)
Crafting Dynamic Characters (Writing Mastery)
Crafting Dynamic Characters (Writing Mastery)



Welcome and What to Expect

Why is Character So Important?

How this Course Works

Where to Get Help

Why Readers Fall in Love with Characters

The Most Important Question Readers Ask

Character Quick Start - The Game of "And? So"

Instructor Jam - The Game of And So

Writing Dynamic Characters - 7 Tools to Instantly Engage Your Reader

A New Spin on Show vs. Tell

Point of View

Tool #1 - Revealing Character Through Thought

Exercise - Penny for Your Thoughts

Instructor Jam - Penny for Your Thoughts

Tool #2 - Revealing Character through Reaction

Exercise - Reaction Shot!

Instructor Jam - Reaction Shot

Tool #3 - Revealing Character through Dialogue

Exercise - What's Really Being Said

Instructor Jam - What's Really Being Said

Tool #4 - Revealing Character through Voice

Exercise - Voice Extremes

Instructor Jam - Voice Extremes

Tool #5 - Revealing Character through Emotion

Exercise - Emotional Taboo

Instructor Jam - Emotional Taboo

Tool #6 - Revealing Character through Inner Struggle

Exercise - Easily Triggered

Instructor Jam - Easily Triggered

Tool #7 - Revealing Character through Other Characters

Exercise - What Can You Do For Me?

Instructor Jam - What Can You Do For Me?

Developing Your Own Dynamic Characters

The Four Foundations of a Dynamic Character

Exercise - Meet Your Protagonist

Instructor Jam - Meet Your Protagonist

Foundation #1 - Wounds

Exercise - Wounds

Instructor Jam - Wounds

Foundation #2 - Needs

Exercise - Needs

Instructor Jam - Needs

Foundation #3 - Objectives

Exercise - Objectives

Instructor Jam - Objectives

Foundation #4 - Motivations

Exercise - Motivations

Instructor Jam - Motivations

Secondary Characters and Antagonists

Growth and Change

Wrapping Up

Next Steps

A Work in Progress


Doris30 September 2020

The video has seldom works for me. I find myself having to read all of the content, which in itself is not that bad. Mary is a very good speaker and it would be great to see and hear her speak the course.

Pamela24 September 2020

Maybe most people can memorize the diagrams and info, but I can't. I need visuals I can refer back to. I have spent hours taking screen shots and printing them and assembling a book, not to mention paper! If you had a workbook like Master Class has, that would be so much easier.

Connie17 September 2020

The course was more than what I expected. Loved the concepts and clear descriptions of the foundation tools for building characters. I was pleased you added advice on the antagonist and secondary characters. What was frustrating for me and diminished the experience of this class was was the editing of the video and how the video would freeze for a few seconds. Nevertheless, I think 5 stars reflects the value I received from the course. Thank you.

Kier16 September 2020

Interesting techniques and systems to develop characters with depth, I need to keep doing the exercises again as there is so much to learn, write and experiment with.

Rodney15 September 2020

This course did exactly what it said it would, and then some, and the presenter/s were excellent. I will be running through this again at some stage. Thank you!

Holly3 September 2020

This course was jam-packed with everything I needed for building strong characters, and more! I’m a hands-on learner, so I appreciated the exercises and practice. I’ll be referring to the worksheets as I write. Thanks so much! This was a wealth of information.

June1 September 2020

clear, concise, fast moving, challenging, up beat, engaging! The best course ever! I'm so inspired, & I loved the Investigator Jam sessions!

Deborah30 August 2020

This course was just what I needed in my writing development. I like the combination of theory and practical examples. It was particularly useful to have two instructors who interacted in instructor jams so that I received two 'takes' on each aspect of the course content. Highly recmmended.

mindfu29 August 2020

Excellent, clear, useful and presents writers with a reusable methods that we can deepen as we continue to create and flesh out new characters.

Holly26 August 2020

This is the first course I've taken on Udemy, but I love Mary Kole's books. This course is exceeding my expectations so far. I love the mix of lecture and practical exercises to help solidify the learning, and the insights are really helpful.

Sarah25 August 2020

I love Jessica Brody's books and courses, and Mary is very insightful as well. Thank you so much for this course!

Anna25 August 2020

Packed with useful information. Helped me sort through what I already new and add things I never really thought about (or just didn't realise their importance and potential). Exercises are very good to flex those character building muscles and the randomizer lets you crawl out of the comfort zone. I liked the jams sessions as it's always helpful to be able to see how other people work. I will definitely go through the course and the exercises more than once just for practise. If your're struggling with the process of character building (and I certainly am) I believe this course is a good way to start

Tunisia25 August 2020

I am amazed at how much my writing has improved since beginning this course. This course has sparked many ideas for new characters. I can't wait to tell their story.

Elizabeth24 August 2020

I am so happy and thankful for Jessica and Mary taking the time to teach this valuable skill in Dynamic Character Development. I, as a writer have lots of stories to share and for years I have wanted to get out to the world but I have for 2 years now struggled in getting my characters to come alive. Learning that telling a story often times when people can see my body language and facial expressions is a completely different story when they are blind (They can't see me) and how hard it is for me as a writer to explain what is going on in body language and facial expression when sharing a story. Plus I am not normally in tune with myself in how I feel or why I want something or what is going on being someone who for whatever reason spent many years denying myself the luxury of knowing me, so when it comes to character development I am so lost. How can I share about a character when I can't share about me? So I look forward to this course and all that they have to share with me in making my characters and me come alive. As an author once said when building characters they are all apart of me in some way. I want them all to be well rounded and not problematic because no one can relate to that,, I know, take it from personal experience in reality..no one relates to someone who doesn't even know or understand themselves. So, I look forward to this great course, a course I haven't had the privilege before to know much of.

Marieke24 August 2020

I struggled with the concept of dynamic characters, despite numerous articles and different courses touching on the topic. With this course I finally understand it! It is a good, well-structured and in-depth look at how to compile interesting and dynamic characters. The exercises, examples and instructor jams helped a lot to understand how to apply what has been taught. I highly recommend this course.


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