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3 Types of Character Arcs: Choose the Best for Your Novel

3 Types of Character Arcs: Choose the Best for Your Novel
How Does Your Character Change? You know your character must change somehow over the course of your novel. But how? And more than that, how do you sync the changes with the external plot? The middle of a novel can suffer from the dreaded “sagging middle” and it’s mainly because you don’t have a firm handle on the character’s inner arc and how it meshes with external events. I’ve found three approaches to the inner arc, each trying to laying out how the character changes. Hero’s Journey: Quest for Inner Change In the Hero’s Journey, laid out so well in Christopher Vogler’s book, The Writer’s Journey, a character receives a Call to Adventure that takes him/her out of the normal and ordinary world into a world where they must quest for something. Melanie as an Example So, we’ve got Melanie who wants more than anything else to get her mother’s approval, but can’t because her mom’s a chef and Melanie can’t cook worth a flip. Iron Sharpens Iron – Friendships Back to Melanie: Flawed Way of Coping

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Monomyth Joseph Campbell's monomyth, or the hero's journey, is a basic pattern that its proponents argue is found in many narratives from around the world. This widely distributed pattern was described by Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949).[1] Campbell, an enthusiast of novelist James Joyce, borrowed the term monomyth from Joyce's Finnegans Wake.[2] Campbell held that numerous myths from disparate times and regions share fundamental structures and stages, which he summarized in The Hero with a Thousand Faces:

The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations is a descriptive list which was created by Georges Polti to categorize every dramatic situation that might occur in a story or performance. To do this Polti analyzed classical Greek texts, plus classical and contemporaneous French works. He also analyzed a handful of non-French authors. In his introduction, Polti claims to be continuing the work of Carlo Gozzi, who also identified 36 situations. Publication history[edit] Samurai cinema While earlier samurai period pieces were more dramatic rather than action-based, samurai movies post World War II have become more action-based, with darker and more violent characters. Post-war samurai epics tended to portray psychologically or physically scarred warriors.[2] Akira Kurosawa stylized and exaggerated death and violence in samurai epics. His samurai, and many others portrayed in film, were solitary figures, more often concerned with concealing their martial abilities, rather than bragging of them.[2]

Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writing As you know I in the habit of publishing “writing rules” from various well-known writers as I stumble over them on the web. They won’t write your books for you, but they are food for thought. For what it’s worth here are Stephen King’s. They are more discursive that some, but contain some pearls. Happy writing! 1. 6 Ways to Create Riveting Conflict in Your Story Who says conflict is a bad thing? Who says world peace is the most important goal of humanity? Who says arguing with your little brother when you’re a kid means you’ll grow up to be an ill-mannered ruffian? How to Structure A Story: The Eight-Point Arc By Ali Hale - 3 minute read One of my favourite “how to write” books is Nigel Watts’ Writing A Novel and Getting Published. My battered, torn and heavily-pencil-marked copy is a testament to how useful I’ve found it over the years. Although the cover appears to be on the verge of falling off altogether, I’ve risked opening the book once more to bring you Watts’ very useful “Eight-Point Story Arc” – a fool-proof, fail-safe and time-honoured way to structure a story. (Even if you’re a short story writer or flash fiction writer rather than a novelist, this structure still applies, so don’t be put off by the title of Watts’ book.)

Jordan McCollum: Six Steps to Stronger Character Arcs in Romances I’m excited to welcome back JORDAN MCCOLLUM. Today Jordan tackles the tricky topic of character arcs – with a checklist to help make them stronger. You can have the greatest plot in the world—but if your characters are flat your book will be, too. For a character to truly resonate with readers, s/he should change and grow over the course of the story. For more powerful characters, focus not just on the external plot, but the characters’ internal journey as well. Relationship stories—romances, family dramas, “bromances,” buddy flicks, even sports movies—are all about building a relationship based on love (platonic, familial, romantic). Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 2: The Lie Your Character Believes People hate change. We may sit around and wish our lives were different, but when the rubber really starts streaking the tarmac, we usually find ourselves wishing we could just hang out here in our safe and familiar haunts. Characters are no different. They resist change just as staunchly as any of us—which is a good thing. Out of resistance comes conflict; out of conflict comes plot. This is just the first of many ways in which plot and character arcs are inextricable from one another.

How to Rock Your Story's Tension photo cred: © Sergei Zolkin via Unsplash Today we’re talkin’ tension. No matter your story’s plot or genre, you need to know how to nail tension in your fiction. Why? For starters, tension occurs every time a hero and a villain come in contact. And trust me, that needs to happen in your story.

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