Saturday, January 17, 2009

Forensics & Faith: Character Arcs -- Part II

Forensics & Faith: Character Arcs -- Part II


  1. Great discussion! I'm inclined to believe that some characters require the arc others don't. It depends on what your story is about. Character arcs definitely provide interest and authorial direction, but characters who are immovable are a story in themselves. Sometimes I want to read about change, other times I want to read about how a character weathered changes around him/her. Inner change can be interesting, maybe even satisfying,But I recognized that there are some benefits to having an unchanging character. He/she can be the anchor in the storm or a safe port from churning seas. When the universal ship is sailing rough seas, I think many readers derive some security from a steady hand at the helm. For me, it's as interesting to see how a nonarc character survives the storm as it is to see character with an arc format respond to storm.
    So, I'm in both camps. I like both approaches so long as they are written well and the writer understands that certain adjustments to the story must be made accordingly.


  2. Hi Raven,
    I've been giving this a lot of thought this morning and doing a little research on top of it, the character arc maybe more useful for mainstream fiction than literary as we write.
    I question the thought that a character has to change? If so then too what degree?
    Will get back to you as I ponder this more and see what I can come up with. LOL

  3. Hi JB,

    Sometimes the story is about a character's inability to change. In this case, there is often a lesson to be learned. A character who pursues a path towards disaster may not learn anything, but the reader might.
    Freedom to change or not is a mighty big option for a character. I've met many people who choose this option in real life. Most of the time there's consequences, but some people are willing to endure the pain because they fear change that much.

    Hope you are writing,


  4. Hi Raven,

    Yes, like you I’ve met many people that resist change and hold to a strict schedule an ultimately have spasm if things change slightly and it throws their whole being in turmoil.
    What I am getting at regarding a person not changing in this object is that the situation is neither dire (to their perspective) nor affect their lives and the situation doesn’t change them, but in the struggle they change the situation for another…sort of like, Superman, Wonder Woman…a superhero where as the character has no superpowers, but ultimately helps another who changes considering the type of situation.
    As to writing not much and I am extremely behind this week and hopefully will fulfill my obligations to Sweet Hearts of The Rodeo by the end of Sunday, cross your fingers.



Bookmark and Share