An Andy Schmidt Community website

Comic Book art

6 Week Online Course | Wednesdays, April 10 – May 15, 2019 | Instructor: Fred Van Lente

Comic Book Writing Icon

Comics Writing 202: Story Arcs and the Art of Serialized Storytelling

Hooking a reader for one story is hard enough — but hooking the reader throughout an entire epic made up of many parts is one of the most challenging aspects of a comics writer’s job.

But whether you aspire to create web comics, direct market indy books, or mainstream classics, it’s a skill you’ll need to master — How to create the hook for a first issue/chapter that will draw the reader in, and how to build action, reveal character, and land killer cliffhangers that will have your fans clamoring for more.

This course from New York Times bestselling comics scribe Fred Van Lente will have you developing your initial series arc (or standalone graphic novel) in a compelling fashion, with emphasis on structuring story beats, crafting characters and creating individual scenes that will provide you with the best beginning, middle and end acts your initial arc can have — as well as providing you with a story bible that can carry your story beyond comics and into other media.

Space is limited, so don’t delay—sign up for the course today!

Online registration only. Click the PayPal button to enroll for just $695!

SPECIAL BUNDLE OFFER: Take Comics Writing 202: Story Arcs and the Art of Serialized Storytelling AND Comics Writing 203: Discovering Genre to get a $100 DISCOUNT off the combined price! Register for $1,290 by using the PayPal button Below! These courses create a perfect combination for crafting any long-form comics story!

  • Details
  • Instructor
  • FAQs
  • Requirements

  • It meets between 9:00 PM ET and 11:00 PM ET, for six weeks.
  • You will learn from professional comic book writer Fred Van Lente (Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Zombies, Weapon X, GI Joe, Conan the Barbarian, Archer & Armstrong, Making Comics Like the Pros).
  • You’ll get Fred’s lessons and lectures and discussions!
  • You’ll learn to identify character arcs and pace their emotional arcs to best effect throughout a serialized story.
  • You’ll understand how reveals and cliff hangers can be used to keep your readers for coming back for more at the end of each issue/episode.
  • You’ll see how to lay out a “beat sheet” to bring an artist, editor or producer (and any other stakeholder) through the progression of your arc — not to mention tips for adhering to that beatsheet, and when to throw it out altogether!
  • You also get exclusive access to a dedicated class member-only online forum.
  • You’ll have access to recordings of any class in the series for the duration of the class and a few weeks after its conclusion—so you never have to miss a class!
  • All of this, for just $695
  • Class size is limited to keep it awesome!

Online registration only: To attend Comics Writing 202: Story Arcs and the Art of Serialized Storytelling, you must register online. Enrollment is limited!

Fred Van Lente is the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning writer of many, many comics, including The Amazing Spider-Man, Archer & Armstrong (Harvey Award nominee, Best Series), Action Philosophers! (American Library Association Best Graphic Novel for Teens), and Cowboys & Aliens (with Andrew Foley), the basis for the feature film.

His many other comics and graphic novels include Weird Detective, The Comic Book History of Comics, The Incredible Hercules (with Greg Pak), Taskmaster, and Marvel Zombies. Pak and Van Lente also wrote the popular how-to book Make Comics Like the Pros for Ten/Speed Random House.

In 2017 Van Lente branched into the world of prose with his debut novel, the stand-up murder mystery Ten Dead Comedians. His follow-up novel, The Con Artist, set in the comic book industry, arrived in 2018.


There is no other course like this one on the internet (or in person) that we’ve been able to find. This is all about putting you in the place of the comics creator!

Do I need to already be a comics writer to take this course?

Not at all, but taking our Comics Writing 101 course is a prerequisite to this one. If you’ve completed Comics Writing 101, you’re good to go for this one!

Wanting to work in comics is great, but what if I just want to tell my own stories?

Our courses are geared for this exact purpose. No matter where you are on the spectrum, beginner as well as experienced writer, learning from someone who has achieved these same goals and can personally guide you is invaluable!

What do we do in this course?

You’ll work with the instructor (Fred Van Lente) to pitch and develop your arc or storyline from 10,000 feet, and then together with the rest of the class, we’ll break that story down into the best possible serialized segments, using such tools as a map to chart your character’s growth throughout episodes/issues. By the end of the course you will have a “beatsheet” for the entire arc that will be ready for scripting — or submitting to other companies.

Do I need to know a whole lot about comics?

Having at least an interest in comics and a basic knowledge as a reader is helpful, but not mandatory. This is about the craft and the form, so we’ll be going over all of the things you’d need to know.

What if I miss a class?
All of our classes are recorded and available to view via streaming link for the duration of the course. And on top of that, you’ll have exclusive access to the Comics Experience forum set up just for the class. You’ll be able to interact with the rest of your class all week long at any time!

If I don’t live in the United States, can I still take the course?
You bet. We’ve had students jump in from Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America and Africa. Not Antarctica yet, but give us time! Some of these students have not been able to attend live, but they’ve viewed the recordings and interacted with their classmates online!

Do we get any practical industry advice?
You’ll get a LOT of practical industry advice. Networking is one of our main topics in all of our introductory courses. It’s, simply put, essential for anyone who wants a career in comics. We discuss relationship building and ways to get your foot in the door and where to go to meet the right people and so on.

How do I sign up?
Click on the Paypal button above and you’ll get an email confirmation and instructions within two business days giving you everything you need to get started with the course.

If you want to make comics for fun or become a pro, your comics career starts here. Go ahead and reserve your spot today! Space is limited.

Sign up right now! Just click on the Paypal link above!

Prerequisite: You must have completed the Comics Writing 101: Introduction to Comics Writing course to enroll in the Advanced class.

In order to complete the work, the following system requirements are recommended:

  • Microsoft Word or some other writing software.

To participate in our live online sessions you will need:

Online registration only: To attend Comics Writing 202: Story Arcs and the Art of Sequential Storytelling, you must register online. Enrollment is limited.*

*We do not currently offer refunds after enrollment.

Online registration only: To attend Comics Writing 202: Story Arcs and the Art of Serialized Storytelling, you must register online. Enrollment is limited.*

*We do not currently offer refunds after enrollment.