Friday, June 3, 2011

Effective Character Arc

Okay, so I talked Monday about effective story arc's. Going with that theme I decided to discuss character arcs today.

No, I don't have an article to reference for this post, but I'm going to go along with what I seem to see a bunch in agents posts about what they are looking for in a good story and what I've seen in other good stories.

Simply put -> Characters need to change. If they don't change, learn something, then they fall short of expectations and tend to be flat. I love it when I read a good book and find that the characters are constantly changing, learning, molding to the environment they are in. Believe me, I've read plenty of books where the main character doesn't learn a thing through their journey.

So, as I go through and create my story arc I've decided to go along and write how my main character feels about this new change of events. And, I'm not only looking at my main character. I also want to look at my side characters, they are all important. Everyone that my main character interacts with is a living breathing person in my head. Therefore, they all have reasons for the actions they make as well as their own reactions to the actions my main character makes.

As a result I've realized that they all need to have character arcs.

They all need to learn from their actions and the actions from those around them.

In the end I hope to be able to show that all of the characters are changing, learning to adapt, getting a better idea of what they are or are not capable of.

Your Turn -> Do you notice character arcs when reading? How much emphasis do you put on character arcs in your work?

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