Since the release of our Character Trait Thesaurus books almost a year ago, Angela and I have gone kind of nuts with the characterization posts. We just learned so much in the writing of these books, and we wanted to share some of that character building info with you guys.
Most of what we’ve written has to do with characters and their arcs—topics like The Four Types of Character Flaws, Using Quirks to Build Personality, Understanding Character Wounds, and The Duality of Character Traits. Angela and I (and most of the rest of the world) are suckers for a character with a good arc. We want to see a character struggle, fall, recognize her fatal flaw, and fight to overcome it in order to finally achieve happiness and peace. This is the textbook story that can be told a million different ways with a million different characters. When done well, it resonates with readers.
But one thing we haven’t talked about is the character with no arc. No change over time. No personal growth. You know who I’m talking about: Indiana Jones, James Bond, Ellen Ripley (in the first Alien movie), and the original Willy Wonka (just say no to creepy Johnny Depp). Clearly, people respond to these characters, or they wouldn’t appear in so many movies.
But how does that work, exactly?
Well, I was thrilled to open my inbox yesterday and find that K.M. Weiland has addressed THIS VERY ISSUE. So rather than try and reinvent the wheel, I’m pointing you to the post at Katie’s blog, where you can learn not only how to effectively write an arc-less character but you’ll find a ton of other writing tips, too.
Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling.