Creating Character Arcs

After finishing two non-fiction books on creative writing – How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy and Characters and Perspectives, which I talked about in this blog post – I moved on to my next book, which I recieved for Christmas.

I was very excited to recieve not one, but three creative writing books:

  • Creative Character Arcs by K. M. Weiland
  • Beginnings, Middles, & Ends by Nancy Kress
  • Song Maps by Simon Hawkins

The first one I decided to read is the one I was most excited about: Creative Character Arcs: The Masterful Author’s Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development. I had read excellent reviews about this book, suggesting it was a #1 resource for writers, and it was filing in a gap that I really care about in my writing: character development.

Some of my favorite books are solely because of the character development, the number one being Jumperby Steven Gould. I love the way that the character grows and changes and his balance between coming of age and figuring out his super powers. The angle of anti-terrorism is so interesting, especially the way he tries to balance revenge with morals, and his relationship with the F.B.I. is so interesting. I love it, it fascinates me, and I really want to reflect genuine character development in my writing.

This book seems to be the answer, and I’m certainly adding her companion novel Structuring Your Story to my Must Read List. But, let me get to the book.Read More »

Something Else

Recently, I made my The Book Book Pinterest board temporarily public (seriously, go check it out! over 500 pins on this story-board) and I realized I never did a blog post talking about my most important Pinterest board for writing and story-board-ing:

Something Else

This board has become a staple of my process, now containing over 1,500 pins. I use this board in a variety of ways, but I will first talk about what I pin here. The board description says,

Inspiration/Emotion/Narrative Visuals. Images to use for building novel/story boards, to express the emotional or mental state of characters, to explore relationships, to establish tone, to visualize moments, and to inspire themes.

To break it down, I pin any image that…

  • Evokes of a smell or a sound or a feeling (texture)
  • Captures the feeling of abstract emotions, such as Joy, Sadness, Loneliness, Freedom, etc.
  • Visualizes a moment, such as a hug between friends, running from danger, a first kiss, etc.
  • Expresses character, often times these are more abstract images, animals, or artistic images that could represent personalities
  • Represents a tone, such as dark and gritty, light and ethereal, adventurous and inspiring
  • Is just generally inspiring

When working on a story board, such as The Book Book board, these pins are the backbone of it. Sure, I will pin world-building elements that give a very specific look to things, but those are usually only material images. Images from the Something Else board really help me to develop and understand my characters and story better.

Rosi Kallard, the FMC of the Book Book, for instance, has a variety of images to describe her:

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Read More »