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Resources for Writers

Building a Character Arc: Really Useful Links by Paul Anthony Shortt

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Article by Paul Anthony Shortt ©.
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This week I’d like to go into an important aspect of writing, who your story is about: the characters.

As much as you need to take care with your setting and your plot, at the end of the day you won’t engage with your readers if they can’t connect with the characters. The reader needs to feel like the events of the book matter to your characters, and the best way to ensure this is to build a solid character arc. I’ve gathered the best advice I can find on this very subject:

1: What Character Arc Really Means – This article from Narrative First gets us started, with a look at what we’re really talking about when we say ‘character arc.’ It’s important to understand the role character arcs play before trying to fashion one.

2: The 3 Types of Character Arc – Veronica Secoe’s highly-detailed article explores the three kinds of character arc: Change, Growth, and Fall, and explores their application within your overall story.

3: How To Write Character Arcs – K.M. Weiland likewise gives some valuable lessons on writing character arcs. This post is, itself, contains links to multiple sections Weiland has written, as a set of lessons covering a range of topics including characters undergoing positive change, needs and wants, and pacing your character arc alongside your story plan.

4: Character Arc Examples – I’m a big believer in learning from all sources, and film can be a great source of writing lessons. This article provides examples of character arcs from Schindler’s List, The Abyss, Munich, and Minority Report.

Hope you find these links useful, good luck with your own character arcs!

(c) Paul Anthony Short


Paul Anthony Shortt believes in magic and monsters; in ghosts and fairies, the creatures that lurk under the bed and inside the closet. The things that live in the dark, and the heroes who stand against them. Above all, he believes that stories have the power to change the world, and the most important stories are the ones which show that monsters can be beaten.

Paul's work includes the Memory Wars Trilogy and the Lady Raven Series. His short fiction has appeared in the Amazon #1 bestselling anthology, Sojourn Volume 2.

Website: http://www.paulanthonyshortt.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pashortt

Twitter: @PAShortt
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