types of character arc heroic arcs

Learn 5 Types of Character Arc at a Glance: The 2 Heroic Arcs (Part 1 of 2)

There are only two or three human stories, but they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they never happened.–Willa Cather The many different approaches to story theory break down the number of “human stories” into different categories. Perhaps there are just two—comedy and tragedy. Perhaps there are Vonnegut’s eight “shapes.” Today, I’m going […]

Why Doubt Is the Key to Flat Character Arcs

Flat Character Arcs create some of the most exciting and powerful stories. Most of the time, when people think of “character arc,” they’re likely to think of Positive Change Arcs, in which the protagonist himself undergoes an empowering personal change. Flat Arcs, by contrast, are about a protagonist who does not personally change, but who […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]