The Character Arc part 1 #amwriting

Life in the Realm of Fantasy

We who write fiction spend a lot of time plotting the events a character will go through. We may write to an outline, or we might keep it in our head, but most of the action is usually known before we write it.

Even if you don’t plot in the traditional sense of the word, you should give some advance considerationto character development.

The term character arc is used to describe the personal growth and transformation of a character throughout a story. In narratives with a strong character arc, the protagonist begins as one sort of person. Through the events they experience, they are transformed. Often the change is for the better, but sometimes they change for the worse.

Great writing contrasts the relative security of the characters’ lives as they were in the opening paragraphs against the hazards of their life when they are in the midst of…

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5 thoughts on “The Character Arc part 1 #amwriting

  1. Really thorough, thanks for this. I’m more loose about backstory during my first draft but the overall approach is similar to yours. Once the character is unpacked in the first draft I go back and tidy/completely rewrite any moments that clash with their personalities and motivations.

    Another exercise I do involves looking at a character in a domestic/ every-day setting (i.e. preparing a meal, washing, brushing teeth…). I rarely use these scenes in the actual book but they help me to ground each character.

    Do you always run a character profile before writing or do you occasionally start a character then see where the wind takes them?

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