May 21 2022


10:00 am - 12:00 pm



Creating Characters That Matter

Open any book on crafting an unforgettable story and the first thing you read is creating an character that the readers love. We hear that ad nauseam.
What does it mean though?
How is this done?
Where does a writer begin and what do we include?

Join us May 21st from 10am to 12pm at Tempe Westside Center as novelist/screenwriter Sarah Archer (The Plus One) dives deep into character development. Sarah will tell us what IS and what IS NOT character development and what we need to do to make our characters pop off the page.
The course will cover the following:
· How to create characters who are clear, memorable, complex, and surprising
· How to make your characters sympathetic—or why you may not want to
· Exercises for getting to know your character and the importance of understanding their wants vs. needs
· Tips for introducing a character, and revealing their characteristics to your audience efficiently through voice and visuals
· The relationship between classic story structure and character development, and how your protagonist’s arc interacts with the spine of your story
· What character development in screenwriting is NOT: how to exercise your own creativity while building characters in a collaborative way

Be prepared to learn and write. It’s not just a lecture – there will be class exercises as well. So sharpen those pencils and grab your notebook or laptop and come prepared to create.


About Sarah Archer:
Sarah Archer’s debut novel, The Plus One, was published by Putnam in the US and received a starred review from Booklist. It has also been published in the UK, Germany, and Japan, and is currently in development for television. She is a Black List Screenwriting Lab fellow who has had material produced for Comedy Central, placed in competitions including the Motion Picture Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship and the Tracking Board’s Launch Pad, and published short stories and poetry in numerous literary magazines. Her tweets have been featured by Buzzfeed and Huffington Post. After working in TV and film development in Los Angeles, she moved between six cities in three countries in the course of a few years. She currently lives in North Carolina. You can find her online at

There will be an online component to this class – 30 in person allowed only.


This project is partially funded by a City of Tempe – Community Arts Grant.

Following CDC guidance, face coverings are optional for fully vaccinated guests. Refer to official website for current guidance. .
By visiting the event you and your party voluntarily assume all risks related to COVID-19 exposure.

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