Weaving Together Character, Plot, & Theme

Live Workshop

In this 3-hour, live, creative writing workshop, we will examine the relationship between character, plot, and theme.

Every writer gets asked that age old question: What is it about?

We're going to turn that dread question into our best friend and one of the sharpest tools in our writing toolbox.

We will:

  • define the relationship between those prime elements,
  • examine their function in a popular example or two,
  • freewrite, playing with our own works-in-progress and writing prompts provided during class, and
  • share and discuss our discoveries during our time together.

If you don't have a current work-in-progress to play with during class, don't worry. Writing prompts will give you avenues work with as we develop our storycraft together!

If theme has ever seemed mystifying, one of those story things that may...or may not...appear as you write, no more! You'll leave this workshop with the knowledge and tools to get theme working for your characters, your plot, and YOU!

Course Curriculum



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(Miss the first workshop? You can still attend via video replay & ask questions in the classroom chat!)

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Alida's material is clear, concise, and full of applicable-right-now exercises. I feel equipped not only to develop amazing characters but gripping arcs and intriguing themes. I will definitely be revisiting these processes over and over as I develop new characters. This course is worth every cent and every second spent in it. Thank you for taking my writing to the next level!

Kathryn Arnold, writer

"Alida has lifted my stories and writing skills to heights I didn't know were possible!"

- Leeland Artra, Endless Horizon Saga

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
This workshop will be held live over Zoom on Tuesday, October 12, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Central. Use a timezone converter to find your local time. We will have a break in the middle and you are encouraged to stand, stretch, and snack as needed during the call.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? Students enrolled in the workshop will receive a video and audio recording of the session.* *Unless technical difficulties interfere with the recording process; unlikely, but possible.
Is this a lecture?
No! It's a workshop. Alida will present on the topic, of course, but the workshop will be built around the use of example, freewriting exercise(s), and discussion.

Your Instructor

Alida Winternheimer
Alida Winternheimer
I look forward to guiding this creative inquiry into writing from memory, emotion, and body. I hope you’ll take this journey with me and our fellow writers. It is sure to be as enriching as it is challenging, from both a craft and personal perspective. What better way to embark on an adventure than together?


Alida Winternheimer is an award-winning author and experienced teacher, editor, and writing coach. She’s published numerous short stories, two of which were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Alida is the creator and host of two literary podcasts: Story Works Round Table, conversations about craft; and Story Works Reading Series, a literary journal for your ears. She is the author of the Story Works Guide to Writing Character and the Story Works Guide to Writing Point of View.

Her essay, "The Sun Still Shines on the Worst Day of Your Life" was recently published in Under the Sun and nominated for the Best American Essays anthology.

Every day, Alida helps writers write better through her craft books, the Story Works Fiction online school, free writing tips, and her podcasts. When she's not writing or teaching, you can spot her around Minneapolis on her bike, in her kayak, or being walked by her golden retriever.

I'm excited to offer single-session, single-subject workshops like Writing Backstory, Weaving Together Character, Plot, & Theme, and Making Readers Fear as part of what I do at Story Works Fiction.

I want to give writers with less time for deep dive, multi-week commitments the chance to join a fun, live, community-centered classroom. Of course, whatever you take away from our morning together will stay with you long past our workshop. Each time you sit down to write is an opportunity to grow...and grow...and grow your storycraft!

I hope to see you soon,


Get started now!