Now, on to today’s discussion!
What is a character arc?
It’s your character’s journey from who they are at the beginning of the book to who they become by the end.
(Hint: these should be different!)
- This is basically the main question your character arc needs to fulfill throughout the course of a story. Developing a strong character arc will help you create a character with depth.
There are 3 stages to a character arc.
You need something that will force your character onto the path that will change them from who they are to who you want them to become.
This can be a physical and internal stumbling blocks.
The catalyst is a problem – something your character needs to overcome.
Tris finding out she’s Divergent.
Katniss volunteering for the Hunger Games to save Rue.
The journey to overcome this problem is what will test them and force them to grow personally and emotionally.
During the second stage, your character attempts to resolve the problem from the first stage.
Of course, things can’t go to easily for your character.
In order to make sure your character keeps growing, they need to continue to face new obstacles.
Translation: Things keep getting worse.
As your character faces new problems, they learn new skills, become more capable, more like the person they need to be.
This is the resolution stage, where your story reaches its climax and your character discovers who they are becoming.
This is NOT always the resolution of your characters’ completed arc
If your are writing a series, this may be the first realization for the character of who they want to be or will become.
Your full character arc may stretch over a series of books, but within each book you should have the three stages of the character arc, with the character reaching an important realization at the end of each book.