Friday, March 25, 2011

Character Arcs

Many times I have seen people talk about character arcs but had never received a clear answer as to what it is. So, I went in search of  the answer myself. To be a successful writer, I need to know everything I can about everything there is to know.

CHARACTER ARC is the process of getting a character from one point to another. To over come what ever obstacle it is that stands in the way of their HEA. (HEA means Happily Ever After).

Let's say you have a hero. He has been betrayed numerous times by his family and his ex-fiance. That's point A. What needs to happen to him to get him to be able to move past the hurt and betrayal to be able to find love again? Most likely in the arms of the heroine. That would be point B.

He has to learn to trust again. To believe that love is worth fighting for and that even if there are some bumps in the road, it will all work out in the end. We want the hero to feel and believe that no matter the outcome, the heroine is worth fighting for. And if he has been hurt and betrayed that is a long road to travel down.

With that said, it doesn't mean that the heroine has nothing to do. She has to prove herself. She had to help him build that trust by being a trusting kind of person herself. She must betray the qualities that will make him feel as if he can't live without her. And we all know, that sometimes the heroine comes with baggage of her own.

If the heroine has no problems and her goal is to win him over, then her jobs is going to be a whole lot easier than if a heroine came with problems. She will have to overcome her own as she is trying to help the hero overcome his.

As I work on my characters in my book, I need to outline their struggles and find the best way for them to deal with them and be able to move on. No easy task to do, I assure you. Each book will have different problems and different solutions.

Here we go..........


  1. Thanks for explaining the Character Arc in easy-to-understand terms. You are right to say getting from point to A to point B is no easy task. Sometimes I get so caught up in one character's arc, I have to remind myself I need to create 2 arcs - one for the hero and one for the heroine. When it all gels, it sure feels good. =)

  2. You are most welcome Jena and I agree with you. It is amazing when it all works out.