Feb. 08 Writing Prompt

A new work week has begun and it is time to turn off your work brain and get back into the writing frame of mind.

Last week we covered narrative arcs in detail and created an exciting story line full of twists and turns, subplots and even got the reader hooked from the start.

This week we will concentrate on character building some more. Of course we have several examples of character development. Included in that is naming your characters and even how to get to know your characters.

When dealing with your arcs, though, there is a lot more to character building than turning them into real people.

So we will start with the basic of all basics: the character arc.

In a nutshell, a character arc is the progression the character makes throughout the course of the story.

Most of the time, the hero of your story will uncover a truth about themselves (or others) that will affect the way they see the world and are seen by it.

This “growth” is the character arc.

Of course, it doesn’t always have to be a positive thing. Your villain could get meaner and hate more, instead of learning the errors of his ways, for example. Or your hero could decide that all the work and effort isn’t worth it, and revert to a more sedentary lifestyle.

While the options are about limitless, you still need to decide. Which is what we will work on today.

Let’s take a look at the writing prompt.

February 08

Create a basic character arc for your main protagonist and primary antagonist

One of the biggest points to keep in mind is how long this arc should take.

Protagonists and antagonists have a much slower arc than secondary characters. We see them in the beginning of the story and they stay with us through the end. Their arc should cover that entire time.

Character Growth is Essential
What kind of growth (and how long it takes) is an essential part of your story

When we deal with secondary characters, you will see the difference. But for now, focus on your two biggest characters and decide what they need to go through to experience their change.

Also keep in mind, these changes need to only be life-altering to them, personally. You don’t need a super drastic character arc for it to be believable.

Your MC learning that he should be more open to help from others, for example, may be the only growth he needs.

Likewise, your antagonist may need to learn that not everything is solved with violence, or simply seeing their “evil ways” from a new light.

Of course, this doesn’t mean they can’t have a more surreal growth experience, just that it isn’t required to make a good story.

Take some time and think about that growth and what needs to occur to make it happen. Then, write out the broad strokes for both characters.

When you are done, post your results in the comment section so we can all see how your MC’s are going to grow through your story.

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