Updated: Apr 1
Hello, Visionaries! I've got a guest post today for you from Aletheianna Black! I met Aletheianna through The Young Writers' Workshop, but she's also got an awesome blog which you can find here, and she's part of WV!
So, without more rambling from me, here is the guest post!
Hello there, and Good morning!
I’m Aletheianna, as I already know since Kaytlin introduced me.
Today I’m talking about How To Write Relatable Character Arcs! One of my favorite things, and yet, one of the most challenging!
Today, I’m going to give you four tips on character arcs! *smiles*
Making your character relatable is a key aspect of making them likable. Not every person who reads your book will be the same. When you write a story, you should always have somewhat of an idea of what audience you're targeting, it doesn’t have to be super specific, even as simple as writing Fantasy so that people who really like Fantasy might read your book simply because it’s a Fantasy works.
They pick up the book at a Library and say; they open to Chapter One….. you want that first chapter to pull them in. That’s part of targeting your audience. You want them to relate to the character's feelings, expressions, or situation. (You don’t want to make them exactly like the reader because, for one, you know that’s impossible, but secondly, you want there to be enough difference that shows them the difference, to draw them into something that can give them hope, show them how to have courage, etc.)
Abbie Emmons does an excellent lesson on How to Write a Hook For Your Story, I would highly suggest checking that out!
Now that you have a character that they can relate somewhat to, you want the character arc to be relatable. Maybe the reader is having struggles with selfishness, and the character in our book has a long, dangerous and profound journey that changes his (the character's) perspective, and they become a courageous warrior. Now the reader wants to be like that character, and you’ve shown them a way to do it!
Of course, every writer will write it differently and will major in different things in different ways. Every reader will learn and appreciate different aspects of your book and will understand them a little differently than someone else, but the message is what counts!
How would you feel if you knew that your book changed someone’s life and maybe even made them cry?
You have a relatable character and character arc, and your book is going pretty well, but your character arc isn’t finished yet!
You want the ending of your character arc to be satisfying.
For example, when Lori marries Amy instead of Jo in Little Women, all the readers are shocked. Surprising your readers can be fun, and even a really good twist, like false deaths (in a battle, or saving someone) where they think they’re about to die, and then something (that makes logical sense) happens to where they end up living, whether the little annoying kid saves them that they decided not to train, or they actually earn their love by saving their lives, etc. There are SO many ways to make cool plot twists, but you want it to end in a satisfying way.
When Jo married Mr. Bear, it was okay, but I think Louisa May Alcott should have made Lori have a good character arc and grow up and marry Jo, but it turned out alright, and you learn to flow with it, even though it’s quite a shock.
Normally, when your character’s arc is completed, the book ends shortly after.
If this is the first (second etc.) book in a series, then ending it with a satisfying ending that still makes you crave the next book will draw your readers into the story you’ve created.
This is sort of a tip…
After all, I’ve said, one thing that you must make sure of is that you don’t create a world that distracts the readers from the one they live in.
Crafting stories that draw your readers in is important, but you don’t want them to get so into your world that they like your/their world better than the real one. That’s why I like writing stories that may connect to this world, or were this world when it was younger, or however you want to do it, and yet it’s very close and all the same struggles and things so that they can change themselves, and not be so happy to be distracted from reality.
I hope you enjoyed this post and got some good tips and ideas from it!
Glory to God,
About the Author
Aletheianna is a homeschooled Christian farmgirl who has a passion for Jesus Christ. You will often find her writing songs on her bed, drawing characters for people, painting a picture, or outside enjoying a walk.
Link to Blog: https://chosenforchrist.blog/
Link to Pinterest: Pinterest
How do you go about building character arcs? What did you think of Aletheianna's tips? Are you going to keep them in mind? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!