Monday, June 18, 2007

Character Arcs

Character Arc:
"A character arc is the status of the character as it unfolds throughout the story, the storyline or series of episodes. Since the definition of character arc centers on the character, it is generally equated as the emotional change of the character within the narrative. Characters begin the story with a certain viewpoint and, through events in the story, that viewpoint changes. Often this change is for the better, but it can also be for the worse or simply different. Character arc are most evident in character drama or in subplots." --From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Now, an EXCELLENT quote from Robyn DeHart... (read her article here)

"How to use elements to build character arc and discover your book’s theme – we all have heard about character arcs and until I figured out this combination, I tried everything under the sun to come up with clear character arcs. I knew that in order to have good fiction, in particular good romance, I needed to have my characters change and grow. This meant they needed to move from Point A to Point B in order to achieve their happy ending. Here’s what I discovered.

Using your character’s internal GMC you can find the two ingredients needed for character arcs: error in thinking and the lesson.

Error in thinking – The Error in Thinking is something the character believes about themselves or the world that is: wrong and keeping them from achieving their internal GMC and thus happiness (love). This is Point A in the character arc.

The Lesson is the life lesson your character must learn before they can overcome the crisis in the big black moment. And, yep, the lesson is often related to the character’s error in thinking. It’s also worth noting that often in romances the hero and heroine’s lessons (and therefore their character arcs) are mirror images of each other. For example, if your heroine needs to learn that it’s okay to lighten up a bit and lose control every once in a while, then your heroes lesson might be that he can still enjoy life even if he’s a bit more responsible. This is Point B in the character arc. ..."


Jenna's error in thinking is two-fold:
She believes she is nothing like her mother because she devotes herself to family and stays.
She believes the house is the most important thing to herself and her baby. Will keep them safe.

The lesson:
She discovers she is like her mother by pushing the ones who love her away so she could reach her own selfish goals. She realizes she is selfish with her heart.

Home is not a physical location. It is where your heart is. She was using the house as a shield against experiencing life.


Duncan's Error in thinking:

Money, power and living a fast life is the life for him because he is not able to love anybody.

Money can buy him happiness.
Duncan's Lesson learned:

He is able to love, and experience emotions. He does not need to hide from them. Jenna is what he has been searching for. Life with love, someone he can feel "home" with.

Money cannot buy love and happiness.

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