on Helping Writers become Authors:
There are only two or three human stories, but they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they never happened.–Willa Cather
The many different approaches to story theory break down the number of “human stories” into different categories. Perhaps there are just two—comedy and tragedy. Perhaps there are Vonnegut’s eight “shapes.” Today, I’m going to argue for five—the five basic types of character arc.
These include the two Truth-driven or heroic arcs—the Positive-Change Arc and the Flat Arc. And the three Lie-driven or Negative-Change Arcs—the Disillusionment Arc, the Fall Arc, and the Corruption Arc.