Powerful Character Arcs Create Powerful Stories
Have you written a story with an exciting concept and interesting characters-but it just isn't grabbing the attention of readers or agents? It's time to look deeper into the story beats that create realistic and compelling character arcs. Internationally published, award-winning novelist K.M. Weiland shares her acclaimed method for achieving memorable and moving character arcs in every book you write.
By applying the foundation of the Three-Act Story Structure and then delving even deeper into the psychology of realistic and dynamic human change, Weiland offers a beat-by-beat checklist of character arc guidelines that flexes to fit any type of story.
This comprehensive book will teach you:
- How to determine which arc-positive, negative, or flat-is right for your character.
- Why you should NEVER pit plot against character. Instead, learn how to blend story structure and character development.
- How to recognize and avoid the worst pitfalls of writing novels without character arcs.
- How to hack the secret to using overarching character arcs to create amazing trilogies and series.
- And much more!
Gaining an understanding of how to write character arcs is a game-changing moment in any author's pursuit of the craft.
Bring your characters to unforgettable and realistic life-and take your stories from good to great!
About the Author
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
There is a debate among writers and readers alike, if the success of a story is determined by plot or characters. You'll often hear the phrases character-driven or plot-driven to describe a story. However, if one of these is more apparent in a story than the other, then the story isn't balanced. As K.M. Weiland teaches in her latest craft book, you need both character and plot in addition to story structure. However, it's not just any character, or any plot. She specifies the arc that both have to take simultaneously along the structural line of story. In her latest book she goes through each step of the structure and shows how the plot and character arcs seamlessly fit each beat/point on the storyline. K.M. Weiland has a wonderful way of teaching through examples for each point she is trying to convey. She has an easy to understand manner as if she were simply explaining a subject over coffee in a cafe. She is sharing her insights into the often frustrating world of story structure by making it all click together in one masterful plan. Plot, character and structure all rolled into one fantastic book. After each section she has questions to lead the reader into deeper understanding and ways to relate to the readers work in progress. She begins in part one with the positive change arc, taking the character through each act and plot points. In part two she continues with the flat arc through three acts. In part three she expands with the negative change arc in three acts. Part four explores minor characters, impact characters, character arcs in series, and more. K.M. Weiland is a fantastic teacher of all elements of writing a novel. Creating Character Arcs is her next installment in her arsenal of books teaching writing in both beginner and advanced techniques. This book is for both the novice and the accomplished as it has deconstructed the character arc to improve anyone's writing. Be sure to visit K.M Weiland's websites https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/ and her fiction site https://www.kmweiland.com
This is a well written and clear book on character arcs. This book takes all the little gems scattered through out K.M. Weiland's blog and pulls them together into a concise book that flows from chapter to chapter. Each chapter tackles a different part of the character arc and how it relates to the plot. Each chapter has a wonderful set of examples from movies and books. And even though I hadn't read or watched some of the examples, I had read or watched enough of them to get a good feel for the point being made. These examples are golden in this book to help solidify the point being made and I am so glad to see them consistently through each chapter. Each chapter ends with some questions to help prompt your rough character into something more polished and rounded. This is a great stand alone book as well as a great companion book to her other writing books. If you struggle with building a realistic character, likable or otherwise, this is the book to get.
With so many books geared toward the outer journey of the hero it is refreshing to read one that primarily focuses on their inner journey. I love the way the author breaks down the various types of character arcs and how they impact every part of your story. Once you realize how your hero's motivation should correspond to each act and drive the plot forward you will finally create a character worthy of remembrance.
Creating Character Arcs gets high marks in my library. I first stumbled upon Weiland’s uncomplicated, yet nuanced writing craft books several months ago when I discovered “Outlining Your Novel Map Your Way to Success.” Weiland has a superb ability to delineate and demystify the mechanics of writing craft while encouraging the creative brainstorming that breathes life into a text. As a failed “pantser” and overwound “plotter” I find this book, along with her other craft books (See also: Structuring Your Novel) a refreshing balance that fosters real progress. In fact, I have made more progress on my manuscript in the last 6 months (Since discovering Ms. Weiland) than in the THREE YEARS I have been slogging away at this particular story. My career as an Author - Entrepreneur has begun in earnest, in no small part because of these books. But, if I had to recommend just one of the three (because we’re writers and we’re broke) it would be “Creating Character Arcs.” To quote Weiland, “Plot and character are integral to one another. Remove either one from the equation, or even just try to approach them as if they were independent of one another, and you risk creating a story that may have awesome parts, but which will not be an awesome whole.” The idea of crafting character has changed the game for my writing as a whole. TLDR: Get this book then actually read it if you want to write anything involving characters. IMHO Skip your morning latte (or writing snacks, because let’s face it we’re writers) once maybe twice and use the same money to buy this book. It will do more for your novel than caffeine/ kale chips/ chocolate.
My favorite part of writing is creating a character profile and building the character arc. I'm already a long-time fan and supporter of K. M. Weiland's work, nonfiction, and fiction. I think this may be my favorite yet of her nonfiction books. I learned new tricks and connections I had not thought about or given a lot of thought. Asking "the right question" is so much more important than just asking questions about the story and character. Asking is a way to begin, but "the right question" will carry you through to the end. K. M. shows you that. I love the way she defined the character arc. I definitely recommend this one for any writer's library and resource.