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An Arc Within an Arc - An Introduction

Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, March 23, 2018

A couple of weeks back I covered the topic of using Dan Harmon's theory of character arcs as a method of developing a structured and strong narrative. This week I'm going to take it a bit further.

This is the personal method I have used in the past to help not only write the overall arc for a story but also how to keep my characters focussed within the story itself. This is the method of an arc within arcs. Arc-ception if you will. Keep in mind this applies more to event driven stories though you can apply similar methods to character driven narratives.

As you are going around your narrative circle, from 1-8, think about what journey your characters are on. Where might they sit in the each section of the story? How does your character's circle rotate within the overall machine of the world?

The key point to remember about the arc within an arc, is that for all intents and purposes your character is a cog in this narrative wheel and as the machine ticks over, so does it affect how your character reacts and visa versa. Where in your character's rotation might it's progress begin to hamper the manner in which your narrative machine might function.

It makes for an interesting visualisation to be sure.

Next week we'll go a step further as this is just an introduction really to the idea and it warrants a step further in terms of exploration. So till next week!



Ozoneocean at 11:38PM, March 23, 2018

Very true

ringmvn at 7:39PM, March 23, 2018

Just like real people give these characters real believable smaller interactions that help buildup the bigger picture

ringmvn at 7:38PM, March 23, 2018

This is nice. I give my characters a past present and future and make sure all Thier decisions center around these. Where they come from and who they are destined to be.

Banes at 1:01PM, March 23, 2018

Great stuff! It's true; the character arcs and little set ups and payoffs inside the larger story make for much better stories!

KimLuster at 10:58AM, March 23, 2018

These are such meaty and useful tips!!

Ozoneocean at 2:29AM, March 23, 2018

Very useful tool!

Ozoneocean at 2:28AM, March 23, 2018

And this is the order: 1. A character is in a zone of comfort; 2. But they want something; 3. They enter an unfamiliar situation; 4. Adapt to it; 5. Get what they wanted; 6. Pay a heavy price for it; 7. Then return to their familiar situation; 8. Having changed.

Ozoneocean at 2:27AM, March 23, 2018

That newspost was here:

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