Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Character Arc

Yesterday, Claudie A. posted about something she read in a book about writing. The book is Plot and Structure, and what Claudie posted about it is something that I've needed to know for awhile. It's a little tidbit about character arc. Now, you may not know this but The Chronicles, the whole trilogy, follows one big character arc, and a plot of course, but the character arc is just as important, if not more so, than the plot itself. I've been struggling with this because I'm not entirely sure how to drastically change a person throughout the course of the trilogy, or any length of time really. But this thing that was posted about character arc has helped clear some of the fog for me.

It's the four layers of protection that surround the core self-image everyone has of themselves. The four layers starting from the outermost to the innermost is: opinions, attitudes, values and beliefs. Change a couple opinions and an attitude changes, change a few attitudes and a value may change, change a couple values and a belief changes, change a few beliefs and, ultimately, the core self-image changes too.

That little bit of information has helped me immeasurably. I think I'll be getting that book too and see what else it has to say, and maybe look for a book or two specifically about the character arc. The funny thing is that I didn't entirely realize how badly I needed to know about the character arc until I read that post.

The way for planning this book is now a little bit clearer and I am so happy for this! Thank you Claudie.

2 comments:

Claudie A. said...

I pleasure to be helpful somehow, BookOwl! By the way, one of the exercises Bell suggests is to list those opinions, values, attitudes and beliefs. I'd say, you can even highlight those you need to change, and work from there. :)

Good luck with it! Character arcs are my favourite. They make any story so much more satisfying.

Book Owl said...

Claudie A.- Oh, thanks for that, I'll probably start listing those fairly soon!

I'm pretty fond of character arcs as well. Thank you :)