How to Figure Out What Your Character's Arc Should Be

How to Figure Out WHAT Your Character’s Arc Should Be

Over the last six months and three series, you’ve gotten a pretty good idea of how to structure your character’s arc–whether it’s positive, flat, or negative. But what you may still be wondering is how to figure out which arc you should choose for your character. Choosing your character’s arc is every bit as important a […]

how to write a negative character arc the third act

How to Write a Negative Character Arc, Pt. 3: The Third Act

In a word, the negative character arc is about failure, and this becomes nowhere more clear than in the Third Act. If the positive change arc is about redeeming self and the flat arc is about saving others, then the negative character arc is about destroying self and probably others as well. The previous two […]

How to Write a Negative Character Arc, Pt. 2: The Second Act

The Second Act in a negative character arc bears a lot of similarity to that in a positive change arc. In both types of arc, the character will be thrust out of his Normal World into a new and strange dilemma, where he will be forced to confront his Lie. He’ll be learning more about […]

how to write a negative character arc

How to Write a Negative Character Arc, Pt. 1: The First Act

Who in heaven’s name would want to write a negative character arc? Well, how about Shakespeare, Dostoevksy, Faulkner, and Flaubert? Just to name a few small-time wordsmiths you may have heard tell of. Everybody likes a happy ending, but, let’s face it, not all stories have happy endings. Negative change arcs won’t give readers the warm […]

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 15: The Climax

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 14: The Climax

In character arcs, as in plot, the Climax is the dot on the end of the exclamation point. The Climax is the reason for the story. This is where the author reveals what the journey the character just endured was really all about—and, in a positive change arc, why that journey has turned out to be […]

your character's arc in the third act

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 13: The Third Act

Character arcs in the Third Act are all about intensity. On the story’s exterior, the conflict is heating up. The protagonist is a runaway train thundering toward what has now become an inevitable confrontation with the antagonistic force. But, on the inside, he’s reeling. The Third Plot Point sucker punched him. Something horrible and unexpected came […]

your characters arc in the third plot point

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 12: The Third Plot Point

If you had pick the single most important moment in characters arcs, what would it be? The Third Plot Point, you say? Well, you’d be right. Now here’s the harder question: Why is it the most important moment? The Third Plot Point is the low moment in your story. A minute ago, at the end […]

Creating Stunning Character Arcs The Second Half of the Second Act

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 11: The Second Half of the Second Act

The Second Half of the Second Act is where you cue the hero music in character arcs. Thanks to that major personal revelation at the Midpoint, the protagonist now gets it. The puzzle pieces are falling into place. The light bulbs have flashed on. He sees what he has to do to win the conflict. […]

creating stunning character arcs the midpoint

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 10: The Midpoint

In a positive change character arc, your protagonist will have spent the First Half of the Second Act blundering around in foreign territory, making mistakes based on false assumptions, and getting his hand slapped for his every wrong move. But he’s also going to have been slowly—maybe even subconsciously—learning his lesson and figuring things out. […]

Your Character's Arc in the First Half of the Second Act

Creating Stunning Character Arcs, Pt. 9: The First Half of the Second Act

In the structure of character arcs, the First Half of the Second Act is where your character ventures (or is thrust) into uncharted territory—and gets lost. He may not quite see it that way himself, but this is where he begins to discover that the old rules (the Lie He Believes) no longer apply. This […]