Use Minor Characters to Flesh Out Your Protaognist

Use Minor Characters to Flesh Out Your Protagonist

Part 3 of The Do’s and Don’ts of Storytelling According to Marvel Stop thinking of your minor characters as characters. If that flies in the face of everything you’ve ever heard about your story’s supporting cast, then just hang with me for a minute as I first ask you this all-important question: What is story? […]

5 Secrets of Complex Supporting Characters

5 Secrets of Complex Supporting Characters

Supporting characters don’t get nearly enough love. We come up with amazing protagonists who do amazing things and we labor to give them solid and complicated character arcs. But after all that work on the story’s forerunner, what happens to the supporting characters? Too often, they’re an afterthought. Of course, your protagonist needs a dad […]

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)

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!

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 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?

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?

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 […]