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Complete Character Arcs

Article length: 1396 words (preview 296/wds)

I’m really big on two things, Master Theme and Character Arcs.

If you run with the Character Arc fundamentals in Storycraft for Comics, your story’s in good shape… but let’s take a moment to flesh them out even further.

I’m gonna assume you already know what a Character Arc is and instead of giving the primer, jump right into it.

Act 1:

Focus on the Character’s flawed side of the arc.

While it may seem counterintuitive, the more you push the crappy version of your character at the beginning, the more potent and effective the arc will be when it completes.

Act 1 is the beginning of the arc.

Act 3:

Notice I’m listing the end of the story here, before the middle… this isn’t a cut and paste mistake.

The third act is the resolution of the story and showcases the character at the end of their arc.

Most of the time, the climax of the story in the third act, is the point at which the character performs as his new improved self and proves his arc as valid or invalid (more on this in a sec).

So in the third act, the character is showcased in his corrected or completed side of the arc. (You’ve now got the beginning and end of your character’s development.)

Act 2:

Where act 1 establishes the arc and act 3 concludes it, act 2 is where the real meat and potatoes of the transformation takes place.

The anchors of the Character Arc in act 2, are the structural point “The Big Choice” (just what it sounds like, for those who haven’t read Storycraft) and the character’s New Belief (his new and improved way of seeing the world).

Now, here’s three additional points to consider;

Not the longest article here, but big things come in small packages. The Realization of the flaw, Attitude Action Line, and the First Action of Change are coming up. Hit the Full Access page to gain character arc mastery in your work!
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