Character Arcs // Why You Need Them and How to Start Writing Them

Let me just throw this rambling at you about a certain thing I see missing from YA novels time and time again:

Character arcs are SO important!!

Without them, the whole point of the story is meaningless. True, there are probably some exceptions (there are always exceptions), but overall stories would be empty if the character reached the end without learning anything.

Would The Lord of the Rings be as amazing and touching if Frodo returned to the Shire in the end and went back to being the plucky young hobbit he once was?

Would The Voyage of the Dawn Treader be as amazing if Eustace ending up not being redeemed and went on with his bullying ways to the very last page?  

Image result for Frodo

I myself have changed so much over these years, and I haven’t even gone on a quest or led a worldwide rebellion against the government (yet)!

The first step to working towards your character’s arc is to give your characters flaws and shortcomings.

For example, one of my characters, Piper Anson, is a super optimistic happy-go-lucky teenage girl.

 Now, at first these aspects of her personality appear good, and in a way, they are, but along with being super optimistic, she’s also super unrealistic and naïve, even to the point of being selfish. 

Because of this, Piper leaves her brother who is suffering with depression and from being bullied to deal with their mom’s hospitalization alone in order to pursue a wild dream in hopes of earning money for her mom’s hospital bill. Obviously, this plan doesn’t work out like she thought, and she finds herself realizing the mistake she’s made.

Character flaws are easy to come up with, simply take the good things about your character’s personality and show the bad side to them.

Is your character super cheerful and spunky? They might also have a harder time empathizing with people and holding their tongue.

Are they super sweet and creative? They could also have problems socializing and feeling like they fit in.

Character traits are often paradoxes, there are pros and cons to everything, and showing this creates a more complex feeling to your plot, as well as making your characters feel like relatable human beings.

Getting back to character arcs, once you’ve established your character’s strength and weaknesses, consider what they need to learn in your story. At the end of their journey what about them has changed?
In the Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen realizes that she is weaker but simultaneously stronger than she thought, she also learns that humanity is a super important and fragile thing. 

In Nothing Left to Burn, Audrey learns that there is a difference between love and obsession and that the truth isn’t always as clear as she thought it was.

How has your story defined your character, how do they see themselves now? How has the changes in their lives affected their view on the world? How are their relationships now? And do they know something they didn’t know before?

The song I Know Things Now from Into the Woods illustrates this pretty well, in the song, Red Riding Hood sings about how she was deceived by the Wolf’s charms. “Nice is different than good,” she sings, showing that she has learned that there is a line between charming and authentic.

All in all, arcs are very significant, they add a sense of direction and satisfaction. 

How do you write character arcs?
What are some of your favorite arcs in fiction?
And what flaws do your characters have?

Happy Writing,


Short Notice

I'm going to be very busy these next three days, normally I would post something today, but my post isn't ready yet and I won't be able to post it until either this Sunday night or Monday.

I also probably won't be able to respond to comments or emails.

I thought about not posting anything, but I decided to let y'all know before I disappear from the blogosphere shortly. I always try my best to comment on y'all's posts, so I am sorry for anything I may miss!

Stay awesome,

(also I blocked comments on this because I know spammers are going to try to spam my posts while I'm away... I JUST KNOW IT. Also, it's a tad bit overwhelming to turn on your phone after a few days and get flooded with a thousand emails from different things, so I'm cutting it down a bit). 


8 Books on My TBR List I Hope to Read This Summer

^^^Wow, would you look at all the hard work I put into this header??? Admire the fonts, the overlays, the shading, the- oh, wait I decided to be lazy and just upload a picture from Unsplash without editing it first? Oops.

This post was inspired by the lovely Mira's post, go over to her blog and thank her, because I know y'all were dying to see what I hope to read this summer... *crickets* 

Okay, maybe not, but either way that's too bad because THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE GETTING TODAY.  

I've read a lot of mixed reviews on this one, but it sounds good and I'm hoping it will restore my faith in coming-of-age novels.

So, I watched this book's trailer and it was really good (watch it here), and I really love this cover for some reason.

This cover though...😍 (Yes, I judge books on their covers, so what??) also, I've been looking for some YA thrillers to read this summer, so I hope this one turns out to be good.

 SUPER HYPED FOR THIS!!! I actually ordered it a few days ago, and now I wait... in agony...

This looks SO GOOD! I've been meaning to read it, so I hope this summer I will get around to picking it up.

This book sounds so interesting! Also, can we just admire that cover, because wow, it's lovely.

The ending of the first book was NOT OKAY, so yes, I need this one asap.

Although I love YA, there is always a huge sense of nostalgia and comfort when I read middle-grade books, and this cover and title=irresistible.

What books are you hoping to read this summer?

Happy Writing,

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