Character Arcs: Making a Long Story Short – by Jami Gold…

on Writers Helping Writers:

A well-structured story uses events (also called story beats) to move the narrative forward — with compelling issues, rising stakes, and an organic sense of cause and effect — toward a surprising-yet-inevitable resolution. At the same time, our story’s plot events force our characters to react, adapt, make choices, and decide on priorities, often resulting in new goals and revealing a character’s values and beliefs. The biggest events are “turning points,” which send the story in new directions and create the sense of change for a story’s arc.

In other words, story structure affects both plot and character (internal/emotional) arcs. So just as we must adjust the plot aspects of story structure when writing a shorter story, we also need to consider the character arc aspects of story structure with shorter stories. Let’s dig into the ways we might tweak story structure for shorter stories, especially when it comes to character arcs.

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