Help Me Finish the Creating Character Arcs Workbook

Help Me Finish the Creating Character Arcs Workbook

Help Me Finish the Creating Character Arcs WorkbookI need some help.

In light of the many requests I’ve received to offer a workbook companion to my latest writing book Creating Character Arcs, I’m doing just that! I’ve finished the workbook itself and am getting it ready to go to the typesetter and cover designer, with a tentative publication date in early October (just in time for NaNoWriMo!).

However, I have a dilemma.

The Creating Character Arcs Workbook has turned out to be quite a different animal from my previously published Outlining Your Novel Workbook and Structuring Your Novel Workbook.

Outlining Your Novel Workbook and Structuring Your Novel Workboo

The main difference is that the Creating Character Arcs Workbook will offer questions and exercises to help you work through all five different types of character arc. As a result, the workbook ended up quite a bit longer than my previous workbooks—more than twice the size, in fact.

Although you may find cause to apply all five arcs to different characters in the same story, you will likely only need to work through one particular type of character arc per book (for your protagonist).

And that brings me to my dilemma.

Do You Want One Workbook or Two?

Of course, I want the workbook to be as useful as possible to you. So I need you to tell me—would you rather I offer all five character arcs in one volume, or would you prefer the workbook come in two separate volumes (one for the positive arcs—Positive Change and Flat—and one for the negative arcs—Disillusionment, Fall, and Corruption)?

What You Need to Know

Basically, the decision comes down to two factors:

1. Although having all the arcs at your fingertips will certainly be useful, you may know right away which arc you want and not necessarily need all five.

2. Splitting the books into two volumes will affect the price.

If you do want all the arcs, you would end up paying more for two volumes than you would if they were all combined into one volume. However, if you only want either the positive arcs or the negative arcs, a single-volume version would give you arcs you don’t need at a slightly higher price point (as much as, but no more than, $5 more).

(E-books will be all be priced the same, which means if we split them and you want both types of arc, you’d have to pay twice as much to get both books).

What Do You Think?

So what do you think? Which would better suit your needs?

A) A single-volume workbook, containing all five arcs, but at a slightly higher paperback price.

B) A double-volume workbook set, one for the positive arcs and one for the negative arcs, at lower individual prices, but a higher combined price.

Thanks so much for your help!

Wordplayers, tell me your opinion! Do you want the Creating Character Arcs Workbook to be one or two volumes? Tell me in the comments!

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About K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland

K.M. Weiland lives in make-believe worlds, talks to imaginary friends, and survives primarily on chocolate truffles and espresso. She is the IPPY and NIEA Award-winning and internationally published author of the Amazon bestsellers Outlining Your Novel and Structuring Your Novel. She writes historical and speculative fiction from her home in western Nebraska and mentors authors on her award-winning website.


  1. Peter Martin says:

    Option B without a doubt.

  2. Francois Coetzee says:

    One book

  3. Charlene says:

    Hi, K.M.,

    I put some thought into this and I think I’d rather pay more to have all five character arcs included in the workbook (loved the book btw).

    I’m the type of writer who experiments a lot, particularly with my characters and their arcs. My stories are mostly character driven. By putting all arcs in one workbook, I can use most of it for all character from one WIP. If there are any empty arc sections left at completion of my novel, they would likely be the less used arcs (dissolusionment, fall and corruption) and I could make use of them during further projects where I have a character who needs this type of change.

    Also, I never really know for certain where my character is going and their arc can change throughout the story. By having all the arcs in one workbook, I am free to work through a different arc for the same character without having to buy a separate book.

    Hope that makes sense! Enjoy your Friday and weekend beyond.


  4. One book, please. As a digital fan (and of your audio books!) the size is not a problem.

  5. robert easterbrook says:

    In my humble opinion, it’s practical to have only one book. But, at present, and I’m sure I don’t know when or where I will incorporate ‘positive’ character arcs in my stories, I presently incorporate only ‘negative’ character arcs in my stories. The price doesn’t bother me; I have your other writing books and have been extremely happy with them. And it never occurred to me that you might have thought to publish Outlining and Structuring in a single volume. Go figure! So, in my crazy, weird thinking, two workbooks is … logical. 😉

  6. I’d rather they be together because I’ll be going after the ebook version.

    Size matters not.

  7. Jason P. says:

    I’ll be purchasing the ebook, so one volume, please!

  8. I would prefer one volume. Just because I may not use all of it on my first novel, doesn’t mean I won’t on the second.

  9. Jane Jeffries says:

    I prefer A, one volume containing all 5 character arcs. Can’t wait till it comes out!

  10. I agree one volume is more convenient and all in one place. I also go for the digital. I do that because I hate marking in books so won’t use as workbook but more as a textbook in paper form if I went that direction. Also if paper versions, I’d definitely want one volume. It might be thicker but would only have to lug around one book instead of two.

  11. Voting widget wasn’t working :/ One volume, please. Is it possible to consider a spiral binding?

  12. Megan Brummer says:

    I vote for one volume so that I can have all five at my fingertips whenever I work through any of the arcs.

    I’d be willing to pay a little more for the larger print volume if needed, but if you do two volumes, I don’t mind paying extra for two volumes if that’s what you go with. The content is valuable!

  13. Since all of the instruction is in the book itself (physical, or e-book), I see myself buying a new physical workbook containing the type of arc for the project at hand, and buying another workbook (even if it’s the same type of arc) for the next project. I like to write directly in them and save them. And you get more sales. Win – win.

  14. I would prefer two. I buy all your books in print so a smaller size would be easier to negotiate. I also primarily use positive character arcs becuase of the genre I write in. Either way, I will buy it happily. That particular book was a game changer for me. Love it.

  15. I agree with the majority. One volume. I like having everything in one place so I don’t have to waste time digging if I need to look something up.

  16. One volume, for many of the reasons already given. 🙂

  17. It would depend on the price. But two may be a good idea if there are twice the length.

  18. Julie Cordiner says:

    Would it work if you offered both options? Depends if you are using POD or having a batch printed I guess.

    I knew I wanted a positive arc so I read that section very carefully and skimmed the others; I found a lot of the time it said the issues were very similar in the other arc types.

  19. Definitely one volume. Even if I don’t use all five arcs, I know I will get something valuable from each section and wouldn’t want to miss any of them!

  20. Option A- one book

  21. I like your idea to split it into 2 volumes.

  22. Polaris Northstar says:

    Why not do both? If you do both, you would be giving your readers what they need, and would improve your sales since readers will be buying what they want. In fact, you could even split it up into five separate mini books as well.

    But if you don’t like that idea, I would go with the one volume. Better to have more than you need (that you can use later), rather than having to buy an other book.

  23. One book! We will have both types of characters. Also, even while concentrating on one sort of character, having a comparison right there in the one volume is the most useful, IMHO.

  24. You might consider offering a spiral-type binding so that the reader can work with the workbook open and laid flat.

  25. Definitely one volume.

  26. I definitely vote for one volume. Partly because I tend to buy the ebook version, but also because my current arc (disillusionment) is negative on the surface but has a lot in common with a positive arc. Plus, I usually write positive arcs, so I would want both.

  27. Hannah Killian says:

    I’d rather have one volume.

  28. Personally, I’d like the 1 volume book, and I’m looking forward to the Character Arcs workbook because its a struggle point for me. I plot character arcs for more than just my main character, and I have multiple books I’ll be writing so it would just be more convenient for me in the long run.

  29. I’d like it in one book.

  30. I was JUST last night wondering when the workbook would be available. (Sob–October!!) The size of your other two workbooks is super user-friendly and non-intimidating. They’re not thick and overwhelming like other workbooks I’ve tried to use. For this reason, I love the idea of two volumes.

  31. I like the idea of a 1 volume book. Even though every book has one main character arc, side characters always have a little bit of development too. Besides, learning different writing tips is always a good thing, even if you’re not using them at the moment!

  32. I vote for two volumes because it seems more focused, but if not it’d be okay.

  33. FYI, the script for what I suspect is a poll isn’t working for me in Chrome 56; Microsoft Edge says the “content is blocked because it’s not signed by a valid security certificate.”

    Moving on, I’m fine with one volume for print and ebook. At the same time, as these workbooks may be used repeatedly (as Brian G says above), perhaps consider offering the arcs in PDF form. I’d likely incorporate them into a Scrivener template, and others may want to put them in a standard dead-tree binder or a specialized one like the Write Mind Planner you blogged about. Bonus if it’s feasible to license a module to Write Mind (multiple income streams for the win!) for those who want the workbook pre-formatted for that specific use.

  34. Nicole G says:

    As long as both positive and negative arcs get the same TLC I vote for one book.

  35. One please. And love the idea of a spiral volume to fully lay pages flat instead of fighting with a book that closes.

  36. I vote for two volumes.

  37. I prefer the A-option, one book for me is better than two: I like to have all of the information in one book.

    And for me it is better when a book have the exercises after the relative chapter. Have you considered this option? In your previous books (about outlining and structuring novels) I would have liked if the exercises were written after the theory.
    Maybe, in the future, you can make a second edition of them, updating with new techniques.
    However, thanks a lot for your work.

  38. K.M. Weiland | @KMWeiland says:

    Thank you all for your input today!

  39. C Lindloff says:

    Option A – One Book.

    • C Lindloff says:

      I saw the suggestion above of the book being a spiral binding so it could lay flat. I think this is a wonderful idea. It would make working in it so much easier. Thank you.

  40. Connie White says:

    I want a single book with all five arc types.

  41. Elizabeth Richards says:

    One volume and spiral bound. I’d want to have both available for reference. Who knows when you’ll need it.

  42. One workbook I reckon.

  43. Louis Burklow says:

    Does this have to be either-or? Why not both? I’d like one volume but it looks like plenty of others would prefer two. Is offering both a one-volume and two-volume edition something you could do? If so, that would be my recommendation.

  44. One volume

  45. Ede Omokhudu says:

    Hi Katie, I’d say go for all three. Have the positive arc book , the negative arc book and the total package. This way you give the readers/authors a chance to choose anyone of their liking. I personally prefer the total package.

  46. Oh my goodness, I have no idea! I love the idea of having all five in one volume. However, I always buy your paperback versions of your workbooks, so small would be nicer too. THIS IS SO HARD! Lol. Um, both? 😉

  47. Personally, I would prefer having everything in one book. So it is there when I need it. Sometimes when writing what I believe to be a positive arc would actually be stronger as a negative arc, it would be better having the tools in a single volume.

  48. Bill Ryan says:

    One book suits me, Katie. But I’ll take whatever you put out. How is the app coming?

  49. One book please.

  50. Huthayfah says:

    I would say one novel. That way, a more whole and comprehensive view of it is given to those who are just starting without excluding any details. Plus, since it’s the two options wouldn’t change the message of the books, it would be just as useful for one more experienced.

  51. All together! I’ve run out of shelves, desks, counter-tops, and dining tables. Books now stream out my doors and hold up lamps. Paver path blocks will be next. A bit tough to read, but I can’t just toss ’em.

  52. Yes – all together! I’ve run out of shelves, desks, counter-tops, and dining tables. Books now stream out my doors and hold up lamps. Paver path blocks will be next. A bit tough to read, but I can’t just toss ’em.

  53. I’d vote one book.

    Just because you think you know which arc you want your character to take doesn’t mean this can’t change. People may find, after exploring ALL the options, that a previously unconsidered one may actually work better. They wouldn’t be able to do this if the arc types are separated.

    P.S. I love your site! You are one of my main go-to’s for any writing questions I have about my WIP, so thank you!

  54. John Jarman says:

    I prefer one volume, but was wondering if it is possible to offer both options. That was people can choose the smaller size workbook if they want to. Not sure if that is possible of practical, but I thought I’d mention it.

  55. I have more than one character so would want all the arcs.

  56. I defiantly vote one book.
    The idea above of a spiral binding is great. It would make it so much easier to work with.
    I like the idea of one book so that you have all the tools right at your finger tips.

  57. One book!! I want a go-to reference for any and all questions on character arcs. I’m willing to pay the higher price for an all-in-one tome. ^_^

  58. Option A, works the best for me. I don’t mind the higher price.

  59. I would say for sure a single workbook would be more useful, for me at least.

  60. Like most people who have commented, I prefer one volume.


  61. One volume! Thanks, K.M.!

  62. Kira Luethe says:

    I think that having both options would be best. That way readers can choose to buy volume 1, volume 2, or a combined book. Otherwise, I think one book would be better so that we have all the information in one place.

    No matter what, I will be purchasing both the positive and negative arc workbook(s). Thank you!

  63. Andrewiswriting says:

    For me, I’d prefer everything in the one book. Price is immaterial, I just like to have it all together in the one spot.

    And spiral binding is always awesome for everything 🙂

  64. Catherine says:

    I would definitely prefer all of them in one book. 🙂

  65. K.M., thank you for thinking about your readership! I think you should put everything in one volume. If you don’t, people will be confused as to what they really need. What will eventually happen is they will end up buying the volume they didn’t purchase first if I’d didn’t suit their needs or select the wrong one. All the wonderful information in one book is the way to go! Thank you!

  66. Not sure if it’s just my browser, but it doesn’t look like the voting widget is working.

    Anyhow, I’d take option A, single volume.
    Even if the protag for a current work only uses one kind of arc, it’d be good to have all available for future books and/or other characters. If it were split into two, I imagine most people who get one book would probably end up getting the other eventually.

  67. One Book please!

  68. I vote for one volume. I like to have all the information at hand and don’t mind the size.

  69. Ms. Albina says:

    I vote for one volume.

  70. Lance Haley says:

    Katie –

    I really encourage you to do it all in one workbook. It seems more prudent to me that the positive, flat, and negative arcs are all presented together. Bear with me while I explain my reasoning in some detail.

    I have been a student of the creative process since I first attended the university in the 1980’s. I received a degree in Political Science, with a strong emphasis in Economics. However, I also took a very wide range of courses in social sciences and humanities. I then went on to get a law degree.

    One of the most influential historical minds I encountered was while taking a course in Institutional Economics. I truly believe that Thorstein Veblen, the man who created the theoretical School of Institutional Economics – a very obscure field of economic thought, was one of the most insightful observers of human behavior in the 20th Century. Veblen posited that economic decisions are driven primarily by social constructs, and not rational decisions. He also made these poignant observations about the creative process:

    1) nothing is original;

    2) all things created are a function of what Veblen coined as the tool-combining process;

    3) thus, the act of creating is to borrow from other sources;

    4) the more varied the sources, the more unique the creation will be.

    I still read a great deal every day on an incredibly varied range of topics. My insatiable curiosity about the world and all of it’s many mysteries was inspired, in great part, by my mother: a little Depression-era, high school educated, farm girl from Boonville, Missouri. As many people said during her lifetime, she was the single most intelligent, self-educated woman you could ever meet. Mom was the consummate autodidact. As well as my mentor.

    Last but not least, an observation form Malcom Forbes, Jr., deceased scion of Forbes Magazine; one of the most brilliant, interesting, and educated men I have ever had the pleasure of personally meeting. He too was an autodidact. His personal mantra speaks volumes:

    “Of all thy getting, get understanding.”

    The point: by exposing the writer to all the forms of character arcs in one book, the characters created will more likely have a varied arc – one with fits and starts, as well as both good and bad characteristics. In essence, real human beings. Warts and all. With both successes and failures. Far more interesting characters. Isn’t that what readers ultimately desire?

    I rest my case… 🙂


  71. WriteWholehearted says:

    B. Two books 😉

  72. Savannah says:

    One book please!

  73. Amy LeTourneur says:

    Firefox wouldn’t let me use the voting widget, but I would prefer one volume. I also LOVE the idea of getting your workbooks in a spiral-bound option, as someone else suggested. Maybe you can put a little pressure on CreateSpace to add this option? 😀

    Looking forward to the workbook!

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