Are character arcs necessary?

In this post, we answer a reader's question: Are character arcs necessary?

Yes, character arcs are necessary because the audience is being asked for their time. No one wants to watch a passive character do nothing. Instead, people want to watch a character they can relate to and grow with through the events of a story.

Why Are Character Arcs Necessary?

"A story is about how a character goes from being naive to wise."

"The best story is about how a man stuck in a hole, got out of it, or how he didn't"

A passive character does not change or move the story forward. They don't change, they don't learn, and they don't care, so it's hard for the reader to care about them. But as a writer, your most important job is to make people care.

If you want people to read your story, you need to make it worth their time. If your character's journey goes from point A to point A, your audience will not feel like they've been on a satisfying trip.


Developing Characters in Children's Books

Writing a passive character in children's books is difficult, but it can work in moody literary fiction or short stories.

The obvious exception is a nonfiction picture book, where the plot is the primary focus instead of the character arc.

If not, you're responsible for developing a compelling protagonist for the story.

Here are resources I recommend to get more in-depth knowledge

Storytelling 101 teaches you how to write compelling stories worthy of commercial success. This is best for screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, videogame writers and storytellers.

Children’s Books 101 teaches you how to write stories that children will love. This is best for aspiring children’s book authors and storytellers.

Owl AI is the revolutionary AI-powered content production platform that helps storytellers, writers, and bloggers of all subject matter easily create highly-polished content.

Success, Money & Mindset Subliminal is a self-hypnosis recording that we recommend to new writers to help with focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation.

Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.


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