How to Harness the Dark Side of Your Impact Character

If you’re wanting to write an awesome character arc for your protagonist, the “impact character” is going to be a central catalyst in making that happen. The impact character isn’t someone you hear discussed often (the term originates with the Dramatica storyform). However, this supporting character can single-handedly make or break your protagonist’s change arc. Usually, the […]

The #1 Problem With Backstory (and Its Simple Fix)

The #1 Problem With Backstory (and Its Simple Fix)

There’s a problem with backstory? Among writers that’s a rhetorical question. We all know there are lots of potential problems with backstory—everything from where to put it in the story to how much of it we should even be sharing with readers in the first place. But before you can start worrying about any of […]

The Hardest Part of Writing Good Character Arcs —and How You Can Make It Look Easy!

The Hardest Part of Writing Good Character Arcs—and How You Can Make It Look Easy!

Character arcs are easy, right? Somewhere in between the beginning and the middle of the book, the character changes. What could be simpler? And yet, when we get right down to the nitty-gritties, character arcs are also pretty darn hard. Why? Because humans never change in simplistic, easy, on-and-off-like-a-light-switch ways. We change slowly, sometimes invisibly, […]

What Role Does Theme Play in Your Story's Climax

What Is the Role of Theme in a Story’s Climax?

Today, I’m going to be a bad blog writer. I’m not going to make you think at all to find the answer to the title question: “What is the role of theme in a story’s climax?” I’m just going to tell you straight up: The role of theme in your story’s climax is all-important. The […]

What if Your Story Has No Character Arc

What if Your Story Has No Character Arc?

Can you write a story with no character arc? Is that even possible? And, if it is, will the story be doomed to drabness in comparison to those that do feature rich character arcs (of the positive, flat, and negative varieties)? These are questions I encounter frequently, and they’re absolutely valid. We often think character arc and […]

How to Use Rewards and Punishments to Get Your Character to Change

How to Use Rewards and Punishments to Get Your Character to Change

How do you get your character to change? As simple as this question may seem, it’s also a super practical and important question that deserves an equally practical answer. At this point in our journey through character arcs, I hope you’re as stoked as I am about the potential of well-structured inner journeys for your […]

Should All Your Minor Characters Have Arcs

Should All Your Minor Characters Have Arcs?

If your protagonist’s character arc has the ability to deepen your story, then just think how much more depth you can create if all your minor characters have arcs! Dizzying concept, isn’t it? And it raises the (somewhat trepidatious) question: Should all your minor characters have arcs? It’s a fair question. After all, we want […]

The Impact Character Why Every Character Arc Needs One

The Impact Character: Why Every Character Arc Needs One

When we think of necessary characters, we tend to come up with obvious choices such as the protagonist, the antagonist, and maybe the mentor, love interest, and sidekick. “Impact character” probably isn’t at the top of your list. But it should be. Because you can’t create a character arc without one. “Impact character” is the […]

Want a Tight Story? Streamline Your Symbolism

Write a Tight Story: Streamline Your Symbolism

This week’s video offers a surprisingly simple tip for how to write a tight story that features both varied and rich themes. Video Transcript: Theme can be a bit of a tricky thing to understand how to pull off in a story. The main theme will always be central to the protagonist’s character arc. It […]

Can Your Characters Arc Be a Subplot

Can a Character’s Arc Be a Subplot?

You’ve written an amazing story. Your premise is high concept. Your plot structure is brilliant. The whole thing is killer. But the main character’s arc seems to be, well, lacking. It’s there all right. It just doesn’t get much screentime. It’s more of a, ahem, subplot. Is that even possible? Is it workable? Or is […]