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 »

I Also Write Musicals

I’m an artist through and through. I like arting. I art all the time.

While I am aspiring to be a professional author, and working towards improving my writing and storytelling skills with every word I put down on the page, there are plenty of other modes of art that I participate in: sewing, designing, painting, drawing, and songwriting, specifically writing musicals with my husband.

Writing musicals has it’s similarities with writing novels, but the differences increase the more I think about it.

Character creation and development is the most similar. Just like in a novel, the characters in a musical or play need to be well developed and complex. Otherwise, the audience will just see a bunch of bland characters and the take away from the show won’t be as much impact. After all, if you don’t care about the characters and can’t relate to them in some way, it stops at being entertaining, and for us, writing musicals always goes beyond the spectacle.

Outlining is always very similar, but slimmed greatly in comparison to novels. It requires the writer(s) to really hone in on the important scenes in the story, the ones that communicate what is happening the best, and never wasting any time. After all, most people aren’t looking to go to a six hour play. Most people.

Now, as for the differences:
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