Recently working with a client with no writing background I found myself reworking the presentation of the Character Arc material, trying to make it as simple and straight forward as possible.
I felt the clarity of what I put together had a significantly value and present it below.
Assuming you’re not running a spectacle script; one of the things you hear me stress a lot is the importance of hitting your character flaws hard in the beginning of the story. Most writers shy away from painting their characters in a bad light, they only want to write their characters from the ideal position of their completed arc. Hold tight to the following;
Your character is not the impression he makes when the reader first starts to read the story. Your character is the COMPLETE IMPRESSION he makes over the entire story.
Empathy is not broken when we see a flawed character.
Further, understand that the impact of a character (arc) is not felt in a single moment, it is a cumulative experience, felt across a spectrum of time. This means;
The more you can incorporate and stress the beginning flawed part of the arc earlier on, the more room there is for development across the breadth of the story, and in turn the more engaging and effective the arc will be.
I’m not going to explain all the elements here, as Storycraft already touches on a bunch of them, but I’ll drop explanation where needed.
Practically speaking; grab all the underlined, headline elements from the breakdown below, and paste them into an empty doc and you’ve got the perfect advanced starting point to build your characters from. Heck, if somebody asks maybe I’ll add a word doc download to the article.