Character arcs are essential for any great story and in this week’s column that is exactly what I’m looking at. I’ve chosen a selection of links that looks at how to write character arcs, make them compelling and strong, and some step by steps to help you understand exactly what is involved. Before jumping into the links, it’s important to explain what a character arc is. It is essentially the different between who your character is at the start of your story and who they are at the end of the story. There are different types of character arcs too and these are all explained in the articles I’ve chosen for this week.
- https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/write-character-arcs/ – How To Write Character Arcs: In this article author K.M Weiland explains and walks you through how to write a number of different character arcs. Character arcs are the whole point of your story and it is the change that takes place in your protagonist. In this article, the author walks you through writing a positive change arc, negative change arc, and a flat character arc. It also includes information on how to align the structure of your arcs with your plot. There’s a lot of information in this one and I recommend carving out some time to read through it all.
- https://blog.reedsy.com/character-arc/ – How To Write a Compelling Character Arc: Character arcs map the change in your protagonist throughout your story. It is essentially the change that takes place during their journey. Character arcs are all to do with personal change and in order to create a believable arc there are some steps to take. This article for Reedsy provides step by step guidelines as well as examples of each. For example, a character arc with a positive change can be based on The Hobbit or A Christmas Carol. The article also includes a negative change arc and some great examples to show this in work too.
- https://www.nownovel.com/blog/detailed-character-arc-template/ – Character Arc Template: 5 Steps to Strong Character Arcs: This article gives you the five steps you need to write strong character arcs starting with your characters initial goal. There information and advice on brainstorming for weakness, and plenty of examples throughout the article. There’s a section on external and internal conflicts too and how you combine everything to create the perfect character arc.
- https://www.well-storied.com/blog/craft-strong-character-arcs – How To Craft Positive Character Arcs for Your Novel: You can read this article or listen to it on the Well-Storied Podcast. The article provides information on how to structure a positive character arc with examples and includes all the beats you need to meet. There are ten beats in total. The also includes a section on how to use character arcs within your story and how they can be used to develop your story’s theme.
- https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-write-a-captivating-character-arc – How to Write a Captivating Character Arc: Learning how to create a strong character arc can help turn a good character into a great one. In this article from Masterclass that is exactly what you’ll learn to do. The article has a number of sections including an explanation of what a character arc is. This is followed by the 4 types of character arcs with examples included. The article ends with a section on how to write your character arcs and what you need to look at.
- https://jerryjenkins.com/character-arc/ – How to Create a Powerful Character Arc: One of the things most readers remember most is the characters and in order for you to create unforgettable characters you need to create a powerful character arc. This article begins by explaining character arcs before looking at the different types of character arcs you can use. These are Positive, Negative, and Flat, and there are examples of great stories included with each. The next section of the article offers 6 questions you should ask when creating your character arc. There’s even a character arc worksheet that you can download for free.
- https://writersedit.com/fiction-writing/create-compelling-characters-character-arcs/ – Create Compelling Characters With These 3 Types of Character Arcs: This article explores the three basic types of character arcs and how you can use them. The first of these is the change/transformation arc and some examples are included. The second character arc is the growth arc and again it is explained in full with examples. The third one is the fall arc which can often be seen as tragedy or a negative character arc which you will most likely use with your antagonist.
I hope you enjoyed the links this week and have a better understanding of character arcs and how important they are in your story. If there is a topic that you would like to see covered, get in touch and I will see what I can do.
(c) Amanda J Evans