During this Writing Workshop, Secrets To Creating A Dynamic Character Arc, you will learn that the secret to a successful story is NOT the plot. It's the character in your plot. The story is the character. The story is the character's growth and transformation, which is their character arc. The plot is there to force the character to grow.
Bankable actors fall in love with characters, they commit to the story and to making the film because they love the character and how the character grows. As do agents, who love the characters so much they sell the story to the highest bidding publisher. Readers and film going audiences also fall in love with unforgettable characters.
So how the heck do you create such a masterpiece?
The Secrets To Creating A Dynamic Character Arc Writing Workshop will reveal the big secret!
The online workshop will be presented by Glenn M. Benest, award-winning screenwriter and one of Los Angeles’ most popular instructors of screenwriting workshops. Benest particularly believes that great stories come from great characters. And that plots are there to serve the characters! Find out why and how.
Glenn M. Benest will teach you the secrets to create unforgettable characters with a dynamic character arc so that readers, agents, publishers, film production companies and high-profile actors will fall in love with your characters!
Benest is an award-winning writing screenwriter with seven produced screenplay credits, including two films that were made by acclaimed horror director, Wes Craven. His independent film, HUNGRY HEARTS, was nominated for numerous awards at film festivals throughout the country and is being distributed internationally by Shoreline Entertainment. Mr. Benest is a celebrated lecturer and instructor and his professional screenwriting workshops have launched six feature films, including SCREAM and EVENT HORIZON.
His screenwriting workshops in Los Angeles have launched six films, including Scream and Event Horizon. He now teaches private consultations with writers from around the world.
You can read more about Glenn and his scriptwriting courses at http://www.glennbenest.com/. His private workshops have launched numerous feature films including: Scream, Event Horizon, Andre, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, The Howling Reborn, Niloofar. Other former students have gone on to work on such series as: Jennifer Jones, Dexter, The Following, Vampire Diaries, Providence.
When we study successful films, the one constant is that the audience feels deeply for the protagonist. But how does a screenwriter or novelist accomplish that? This Writing Workshop will show you how professionals use specific techniques to construct their protagonist’s character arc and in so doing, develop a story that is based on character, not plot.
The webinar will be taught by Glenn M. Benest, award-winning screenwriter and one of Los Angeles’ most popular instructors of screenwriting workshops.
The 'Heart' Of The Workshop
- The secrets of why audiences, publishers, agents, film producers and actors love certain characters
- How to portray 'blood, sweat and tear' emotion in a character
- Why your character needs to transform and change
- How you can give them a dynamic character arc
- How you can create these unforgettable characters
Who Should Attend?
- Writers just starting out in their writing journey who want to understand the basics of developing a gripping, emotional story
- Established writers and authors who are struggling to make their novels engage with readers
- More advanced writers who want a road map to create unforgettable characters
- Independent authors who want to learn the secret to creating a dynamic character from a Hollywood screenwriting tutor
- Writers who are strong with plot but need help with character development
- Writers who want to break out of formulaic writing
What You Will Learn
- The step-by-step construction of a convincing character arc
- How starting from one emotional extreme and building to its opposite has the greatest impact
- The importance of giving your protagonist a real dilemma
- The power of creating a flawed anti-hero
- How to use the plot to “slam” your protagonist with the very thing they’re hiding from
- How you can use subplots to make your character’s journey as dramatic as possible
Should you be creating characters without this knowledge?!
Why Some Characters Don't Engage Audiences
Benest advocates "if the audience does not connect to the character, it will be a wash."
He says a writer can craft a beautifully, well-constructed story, but it’s not going to necessarily be successful or move an audience the way a story will that has a character that grabs the audience. The more complex the character, the more the audience will relate psychologically to them. Multifaceted characters are undeniably recognizable by the way they respond to conflict, and we recognize these fictitious personalities as distinctively human
If you have a great character, and they have a great character arc, then the audience will connect with them emotionally, and that’s what makes a great movie.
“You have to show a beginning, middle and end with a character that goes through a myriad of changes, and it is hard to do. The story begins with the writer making that emotional connection with his or her character, which is then conveyed, to the audience. When that connection isn’t made, the screenplay isn’t successful,” says Benest.
It is good to remember that good characterization is a part of good structure. Creating a believable protagonist, a character who is going to drive the story, must grab and hold the audience. When the audience doesn’t care about the lead character, your story is in trouble.
“It’s not about a formula; it’s about connecting to the character. If a writer doesn’t have a connection to the character, the audience won’t either,” says Benest.
“If you have a great character in a film," says Benest, "and they have a great character arc, then the audience will connect with them emotionally, and that’s what makes a great movie.”
In an interview by Carla Lacovetti in Creative Screenwriting Magazine, Benest explains how a character must grow. For instance, in the movie Arthur, Arthur goes from being a spoiled narcissistic playboy, to a giving, generous, good-hearted man who loves a woman. The character makes us mad, but we somehow relate to him. Arthur is a happy drunk.
How many happy drunks do you actually know?
However, it’s a comedy, so you suspend belief and go with it. While you love Arthur, you want him to grow up. Benest believes that Arthur has a very well orchestrated character arc.
“It was Arthur that made you love that movie, and its Arthur that you remember, not the plot or story. We remember his unique character,” says Benest.
Benest recommends The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri which shows the steps a character must go through.
Egri says, “When we read a bad play carefully, we are struck by the author’s ignorance of his characters. Yet when we read a good play carefully, we are struck by the wealth of information the writer displays…a character has the capacity to completely reverse himself under internal and external stimulus. Like every other organic being, he changes continuously.”
We don't want to be the author that Egri mentions, instead we want to be the writer of that great story with dynamic characters.
It is imperative that we see our characters struggle and grow, and in order for that to happen, we need to not only connect with them on a human/psychological level, but we need to make them complex. Complexity comes about by establishing a motive, goal or internal need within the character. The audience must see an internal struggle.
When a writer makes a connection with the protagonist to convey his or her internal need or struggle, the audience will connect emotionally to the character.
If this so-called journey is pivotal to transformation, and character arc reveals the status of a character as it evolves throughout the story, then the importance of good characterization cannot be understated. As a character adapts to the changes in his or her world and faces internal and external struggles, the plot moves forward to a brilliant resolve, and this is not only exceptional screenwriting but also a basis for universal appeal.