Getting a bit of dynamism into your novel’s character arc

Matthew Wright

Character arcs are fundamental to a good novel. Without them, it’s not a story. With them – it’s something readers can’t put down.

Wright_Typewriter01Plot, curiously, is secondary to the character arc – though plot and character arc have to mesh together. The rising and falling waves of plot tension have to coincide with the key pivot points of the character’s arc, as they go from their beginning point (where they need something) to the end point (where they’ve found it). And that’s what this post is about.

The plot points, in short, tell us HOW the character fulfils their arc. Dramatic moments are also the points where the character learns something they need.

Although that’s not necessarily what they want – and the tension between ‘need’ and ‘want’ is one way of pushing more drama into the novel. It’s a hook that will make readers like the character – or…

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