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Story Development for Artists: from Idea to Reality

Story Development for Artists: from Idea to Reality

An 8-week course on how to develop an idea into a story using timeless techniques
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Develop your story idea into a world of its own

Develop your story idea into a world of its own
Everyone has IDEAS; now learn how to take that idea/sketch/napkin drawing and build it into a STORY with relatable characters, solid structure, and themes using timeless, but simple techniques inspired by everything from ancient myths to contemporary film, books, comics and animation. Students will develop their own ideas, characters and stories using written premises, outlines, treatments, fictional biographies and character histories, becoming the absolute authorities on their invented worlds – with an eye toward preparing each student’s creative development work for real-life application in their media of choice; film, TV, animation, comics, etc.

Course Format


Skills Level



8 weeks


Once a week


Individual recordings

Lecture Type

Due each week. Expect to spend 8-10 hrs/wk viewing lectures, Q&A, and time on assignments.

The more you know, the better.

Intro to story: What is it? Why do we love it? How do we make it? | Selection and creative thinking process techniques; how to effectively select what to spend your time on: from doodle to passion project
An Introduction to Building Strong, Relatable Characters | Lecture and Scene Analysis on Powerful Character Introductions and First Impressions | Using contemporary and classic film and TV | Flexing and Applying Your Critical Eye to Introducing Characters
Writing What You know | Heroes and Villains | Cliche vs Archetype | Caricature vs Character | One dimensional vs multi-dimensional | Writing Character bios (becoming experts on your char) | Defining Char needs, wants, behavior | Character contrast and supporting cast
Building your story: from stick man to final render | Story vs. plot / what vs. how: what happens and how to show it | Image systems and motif; the seduction of pretty pictures | Serialized vs. episodic
Classical and contemporary models for story | Three-act structure and other lies | A, B, and C plots | Deciding what works best for you
Deciding which story to tell; the Star Wars model | Building your story, then writing it: note cards, outlining, sculpting; writing inside out vs. outside in; just like drawing | Weaving character and story: how to build theme; where to find it and when; controlling ideas and keeping it simple
The elevator pitch: how to take your creative research and pare it down to bare essentials | Workshopping with peers: collecting constructive criticism
Now what? Planning for next steps: intro to TV, feature, and comic strips; writing novels/prose | Pitching/selling vs. controlling your I.P.

Unleash your creative potential

For specific questions regarding TBA instructors, please contact CGMA Admissions Department at registration@cgmasteracademy.com


Even though our courses are the most affordable for the quality of education, these finance options allow you to focus on your goals instead of the barriers that keep you from reaching them.

3x Payments


2x Payments


Full payment


Jan 31, 2024 - Apr 22, 2024
Story Development for Artists: from Idea to Reality

What makes this learning experience unique?


Receive personalized feedback on all assignments from the industry’s top professionals.


Enjoy lifetime access to the spectrum of course content, including lectures, live Q&As, and feedback sessions.


Show off your Certification of Completion when you turn in 80% of course assignments.


Learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace with flexible, online course scheduling.


Informative, knowledgeable and answered a lot of questions I had about story and the business of it.


Josh has been a great resource for learning. His experience and knowledge was obvious and he was very engaging with the class about topics and additional reading material suggestions.


Josh is very knowledgeable. He broke down story development in a way that makes it easier for me to understand what makes stories great. I really enjoyed learning under him.


Joshua was able to create a great and most of all safe space to share ideas. It made me feel like I was taken serious, especially since I’ve been struggling with insecurity issues. His feedback was always very good and helpful.


Need guidance? We’re Here to Help.

We can help with admissions questions, portfolio review/course recommendations!

What are you interested in?