Announcing the Shadow Archetypes Course! (+Giveaway)

Announcing the Shadow Archetypes Course! (+Giveaway)

Get ready, because I’ve got something exciting to share with you!

This winter, I’ve been working on a new resource for all of you. I’ve been diving once again into the world of archetypes, exploring the psychology of shadows, and studying character transformations—all of my favorite things!

and now, I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my eight-week on-demand email course Shadow Archetypes: Writing Complex Characters.

I know many of you have been waiting for this, and I can’t wait to take this journey with you! If you’ve already explored my book Writing Archetypal Character Arcs: The Hero’s Journey and Beyond, this course takes the exploration even deeper. We’ll dive into how each pair of shadow archetypes plays a crucial role in helping the primary archetypes (Maiden, Hero, Queen, etc.) overcome weaknesses and temptations on their way to fully transforming into their next iteration of empowerment.

Are You Ready to Explore the Shadows?

Explore the intricate world of character development with Shadow Archetypes: Building Complex Fictional Characters, an eight-week email course.

Delve into the psychological journey and inner conflict of the six archetypal arcs, from the Maiden to the Mage. Discover the profound interplay between each archetype’s passive and aggressive shadows, and how each archetypal arc is about overcoming the cowardice of its passive shadow while resisting the temptation of its aggressive shadow in order to integrate a new level of true power.

This course is ideal for aspiring authors, fiction writers, creative storytellers, and screenwriters wanting to master the art of crafting compelling characters who add depth to their narratives. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just beginning your literary journey, this in-depth approach to character arcs will transform your storytelling abilities, providing you with practical applications for various fiction formats, from novels to screenplays.

The course is structured into eight comprehensive lessons, each one intentionally designed to impart the wisdom of storytelling through the lens of shadow archetypes. Every week, you will receive an email with new resources and insights to elevate your storytelling and bring your characters to life in ways you never thought possible. You can also access the lessons as they become available in your account dashboard.

Here’s What This Course Has in Store for You!

Ready to start shadow walking? 🔦 Learn more about the twelve shadow archetypes right here.

These in-depth weekly text lessons, delivered straight to your inbox, will offer you:

  • A deeper understanding of shadow archetypes and their essential role in writing enriching character arcs, making your characters breathe with authenticity and complexity.
  • Insight into how to skillfully portray a character’s weaknesses and temptations to create a character arc that is as human and relatable as it is transformative, inspiring readers to navigate their own shadows with courage and hope.
  • Mastery over the craft of weaving compelling character journeys that not only advance the plot but resonate on a personal level with each reader.
  • The ability to navigate the psychological depths of the six life arcs.
  • Knowledge of how the interplay of passive and aggressive shadows forms the crucible for character transformation and empowerment.
  • Practical tools to apply these insights across various fiction genres—everything from romance to fantasy to drama to action—enabling your narratives to flourish, whether in a novel or a screenplay.

Why Choose This Course?

  • Empowerment Through Mastery: This course empowers you with techniques to master the subtleties of the human psyche, elevating your writing to a realm where characters live and breathe beyond the confines of the page.
  • Inspirational Guidance: Each lesson is crafted not just to inform but to motivate, urging you to explore the uncharted depths of your creative potential.
  • Unique Focus: The deep dive into shadow archetypes, particularly within the context of the life arcs, presents a niche yet crucial aspect of character development often overlooked in mainstream writing advice.


What are archetypal character arcs?

Archetypes are symbols representing specific experiences that are recognized as culturally or even universally potent. Archetypal character arcs explore transformational periods within the human life. Specifically, I teach a cycle of six important archetypal character arcs, alternating between feminine and masculine and chronologically advancing through the human life.

These archetypes are Maiden and Hero (the archetypal journeys of youth, concerned with individuation and independence), Queen and King (the archetypal journeys of maturity, concerned with power and responsibility), and Crone and Mage (the archetypal journeys of elderhood, concerned with the mysteries of life and death). Each archetypal journey represents a crucial initiation within the human experience.

What are shadow archetypes?

Shadow archetypes, based on Carl Jung’s psychological theories, represent the darker, unconscious facets of a character’s personality that are often denied or rejected. In storytelling, these archetypes are powerful tools for character development and conflict, driving a character’s inner struggles and influencing their actions and choices, thus contributing to a transformational arc.

For instance, a Hero character will grapple with both the passive shadow of the Coward and the aggressive shadow of the Bully. These reflect both the potential for fear and the misuse of power, which the character must confront and integrate to realize full heroic potential. The exploration of this inner conflict results in multi-dimensional characters that are more realistic and relatable, providing opportunities for dramatic tension and plot development.

What genres are archetypes appropriate for?

Any and all genres! Even though the symbolic language of archetypes often evokes the fantasy genre, these archetypes show up in all stories of all types, just as they also show up in all of our personal lives. Examples from many different types of stories are listed throughout the course.

Will there be beat sheets like in your book?

Each archetypal study will offer a concise beat sheet you can use for guidance in crafting your own arc. These beat sheets can be used to bring further nuance to the beat sheets offered in my book Writing Archetypal Character Arcs, which focused more on the external conflict with antagonists. The beat sheets provided in the course show how your characters’ inner relationship to the shadow archetypes may evolve over the course of their character arcs.

How is the course delivered?

This is an email course. It will be delivered to your email (the address you use when checking out) once a week. The first lesson will arrive shortly after checkout and subsequent lessons will arrive on the same day of the week in the future.

You will also have access to the course material in your account dashboard. Lessons will become available there at the same time you receive a new email.

Can I do the course at my own pace?

Yes! You can access the course whenever you like.

How long is the course?

The course lasts eight weeks. Each lesson provides a lengthy text for you to read and study at your own pace.

Can I ask questions during the course?

Absolutely! Just hit reply on any email you receive and ask me your question.

Do I need any prior knowledge of psychology or literature to benefit from this course?

Not at all. Although you can think of this course as Archetypes Level 2, since it builds upon the theories and system I’ve discussed previously in my blog series and my book Writing Archetypal Character Arcs, the course is structured to be accessible and enlightening to both seasoned writers and those new to the craft. Your passion for storytelling is the only prerequisite! If you haven’t read anything about archetypes before this, don’t worry. The first lesson will cover the necessary basics to help you access all the juiciness in the subsequent lessons.

Can this course help me with my personal growth, not just my writing?

Absolutely! The themes and principles covered within the Shadow Archetypes Course transcend the scope of writing to offer valuable lessons and introspective tools for personal development.

Start Exploring Your Characters’ Shadows!

As you progress through each lesson, honing your skills, you will steadily grow your ability to craft deeply resonant psychological journeys for your characters. You’ll acquire a profound understanding of their emotions, motivations, and inner struggles, enabling you to create narratives that captivate and engage readers.

Ready to start shadow walking? 🔦 Learn more about the twelve shadow archetypes right here.

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Win a reMarkable 2 Tablet!

Of course, what would be a launch without a prize giveaway? Today, I am giving away a reMarkable 2 tablet* (value $279). According to their site:

Replace your notebooks and printouts with the only tablet that feels like paper. All your handwritten notes, to-dos, PDFs, and ebooks, perfectly organized and in one place.

I asked you all to tell me what prize you’d like me to give away for this launch, and quite a few of you wanted me to give away another reMarkable 2 tablet! Good luck to you all!

*The refurbished model, in support of circular economies.

To Enter

Contest will end Sunday, March 17th, and winners will be announced Monday, March 18th. Enter below! (Note: no purchase is necessary to enter.)

Finally, I must send out a huge thank you to my beta testers: Cain Gonzales, Christopher Pridgen, Laura Kathryn McRae, Julie Packer Samms, Sue Davis, KJ A. Lewis. Thank you!

Good luck to everyone in the drawing, have fun, and thank you for helping me celebrate the launch of the Shadow Archetypes course!

Happy writing!

Click the “Play” button to Listen to Audio Version (or subscribe to the Helping Writers Become Authors podcast in Apple Podcast, Amazon Music, or Spotify).


Love Helping Writers Become Authors? You can now become a patron. (Huge thanks to those of you who are already part of my Patreon family!)

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