Writing Concepts

This article was originally published in The Writer’s Everything, Issue #004.

The Purpose Of Writing Concepts

Every week, published in my writing magazine, The Writer’s Everything, Writing Concepts will discuss a major piece of knowledge that authors would do well to be aware of.

This week, the topic of Writing Concepts is “Character Arc.”

Character Arc

A character arc is, essentially, the transformation of a character over the course of the story. Character arcs are used to make your characters interesting and dynamic, and to add a sense of meaning to the story.

Not every character has to have a character arc. Some characters may simply not appear enough to go through change. Other characters have what is called a flat character arc, in which the character they are at the beginning, and the character they are at the end, are fundamentally the same character. (Think Captain America in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.)

For characters who do change over the course of the story, there are two options for their development. They will either have a positive character arc, in which the state of the character at the end of the story is an improvement upon their state at the beginning of the story, or a negative character arc, in which the state of the character at the end of the story is worse than it is at the beginning.

An example of a positive character arc would be that of Sam Worthington’s character Jake Sully and his development over the course of Avatar.

An example of a negative character arc would be Sam Worthington’s most recent character, appearing in the Netflix film Fractured.


The Writer’s Everything

This article, as well as many others, have been featured in previous issues of my writing journal, The Writer’s Everything, in which I, along with occasional guest contributors, provide essays, guides, encouragement, motivation, writing prompts, character bio development kits, and anything else that can help you turn your dream of becoming a writer into a reality.


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