A character arc is how a character grows or changes through a story. At the most basic level, there are four types of character arcs: change positively, change negatively, remain steadfast positively, or remain steadfast negatively. Any other character arc should be able to–theoretically–fit into one of these four types. This article will go through each, while also giving examples and variations, and talking about common misconceptions.
While I’ve discussed character arcs on my blog before, including breaking down these four types, I’ve been missing an article that focuses solely on them to refer readers and clients to, so . . . I figured it was time. 😊
When you understand the different character arcs, you’ll be able to understand your protagonist better and write a stronger story for him or her. You’ll also be able to write stronger antagonists and Influence Characters, as well as better side characters. Because character, plot, and theme all interconnect, you’ll also be able to write better plots and themes, too.
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