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Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author's Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development

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About the Book Powerful Character Arcs Create Powerful Stories Have you written a story with an exciting concept and interesting characters—but it just isn’t grabbing the attention of readers or agents? It’s time to look deeper into the story beats that create realistic and compelling character arcs. Internationally published, award-winning novelist K.M. Weiland shares About the Book Powerful Character Arcs Create Powerful Stories Have you written a story with an exciting concept and interesting characters—but it just isn’t grabbing the attention of readers or agents? It’s time to look deeper into the story beats that create realistic and compelling character arcs. Internationally published, award-winning novelist K.M. Weiland shares her acclaimed method for achieving memorable and moving character arcs in every book you write.By applying the foundation of the Three-Act Story Structure and then delving even deeper into the psychology of realistic and dynamic human change, Weiland offers a beat-by-beat checklist of character arc guidelines that flexes to fit any type of story.This comprehensive book will teach you: How to determine which arc—positive, negative, or flat—is right for your character. Why you should NEVER pit plot against character. Instead, learn how to blend story structure and character development. How to recognize and avoid the worst pitfalls of writing novels without character arcs. How to hack the secret to using overarching character arcs to create amazing trilogies and series. And much more! Gaining an understanding of how to write character arcs is a game-changing moment in any author’s pursuit of the craft. Bring your characters to unforgettable and realistic life—and take your stories from good to great!


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About the Book Powerful Character Arcs Create Powerful Stories Have you written a story with an exciting concept and interesting characters—but it just isn’t grabbing the attention of readers or agents? It’s time to look deeper into the story beats that create realistic and compelling character arcs. Internationally published, award-winning novelist K.M. Weiland shares About the Book Powerful Character Arcs Create Powerful Stories Have you written a story with an exciting concept and interesting characters—but it just isn’t grabbing the attention of readers or agents? It’s time to look deeper into the story beats that create realistic and compelling character arcs. Internationally published, award-winning novelist K.M. Weiland shares her acclaimed method for achieving memorable and moving character arcs in every book you write.By applying the foundation of the Three-Act Story Structure and then delving even deeper into the psychology of realistic and dynamic human change, Weiland offers a beat-by-beat checklist of character arc guidelines that flexes to fit any type of story.This comprehensive book will teach you: How to determine which arc—positive, negative, or flat—is right for your character. Why you should NEVER pit plot against character. Instead, learn how to blend story structure and character development. How to recognize and avoid the worst pitfalls of writing novels without character arcs. How to hack the secret to using overarching character arcs to create amazing trilogies and series. And much more! Gaining an understanding of how to write character arcs is a game-changing moment in any author’s pursuit of the craft. Bring your characters to unforgettable and realistic life—and take your stories from good to great!

30 review for Creating Character Arcs: The Masterful Author's Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development

  1. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    This is a book I will keep close, there is a lot of information and instruction in this book and I will be using it from here on out. This has opened a door into a more complex and better-plotted story in the future. It has allowed me to see what was lacking in my own work and how to repair that deficit before it goes to print. Highly recommend this book to any writing that wants to improve. And isn't there always room for improvement? This is a book I will keep close, there is a lot of information and instruction in this book and I will be using it from here on out. This has opened a door into a more complex and better-plotted story in the future. It has allowed me to see what was lacking in my own work and how to repair that deficit before it goes to print. Highly recommend this book to any writing that wants to improve. And isn't there always room for improvement?

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kellyn Roth

    Every time I read a book by K.M. Weiland, I have these awesome "OH WOW THAT'S HOW IT WORKS!" moments that just change my writing forever. Review coming! Every time I read a book by K.M. Weiland, I have these awesome "OH WOW THAT'S HOW IT WORKS!" moments that just change my writing forever. Review coming!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    This book completely revolutionized how I look at plotting a novel! Every writer should read it. Now instead of seeing ‘plot’ as a series of random events I somehow have to tie together (perhaps through that ever-illusive concept of ‘theme?’), I now see it as a logical and specific chain of trials designed to test and strengthen my protagonist. No need to stare at a blank screen wondering what should happen next. Thanks to Weiland’s insights, I know! Most helpful was the section on Positive Chang This book completely revolutionized how I look at plotting a novel! Every writer should read it. Now instead of seeing ‘plot’ as a series of random events I somehow have to tie together (perhaps through that ever-illusive concept of ‘theme?’), I now see it as a logical and specific chain of trials designed to test and strengthen my protagonist. No need to stare at a blank screen wondering what should happen next. Thanks to Weiland’s insights, I know! Most helpful was the section on Positive Change Arcs. In it Weiland describes vital ingredients needed to prompt true change in people, real or fictitious, and ties each element into where it should occur in relation to major events in the story’s structure (First Plot Point, Midpoint, Climax, etc.). Brilliant! Most surprising was the section on Flat Arcs. I never thought I would enjoy writing or reading a Flat Arc novel, since I equate the form with brain-numb action flicks in the tradition of James Bond. Turns out some of my favorite stories are Flat Arcs: Hunger Games, Captain America, or Gladiator, anyone? According to Weiland, the power of a Flat Arc story is not in the change the protagonist undergoes, but rather in the change he affects in the world and characters that surround him. I’d heard this concept before, but thanks to the way Weiland articulated it I finally understood. Genius! Now I can’t wait to tackle my first Flat Arc or Negative Change Arc story, because thanks to Weiland I finally understand their potential and power. Buy and read this book as soon as you can! It’s so full of valuable insights, and so devoid of unnecessary fluff, that when I tried to highlight the ‘important concepts’ in red I basically ended up with a solid red book. Every word is precise, necessary, and brilliant. Also, don’t forget to check out Weiland’s website at HelpingWritersBecomeAuthors.com and sign up for her twice-a-month newsletter – it’ll rock your fictitious world.

  4. 4 out of 5

    G.H. Eckel

    This book is helpful for authors. It follows protagonists through all the permutations of their ups and downs. The book's message kind of operates in the background as you're writing. This book is helpful for authors. It follows protagonists through all the permutations of their ups and downs. The book's message kind of operates in the background as you're writing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marie Tankersley

    I didn’t like this book in the beginning. The positive change arc section was quite long and it was the one that I knew best and that I would expect others to know best as well. It was very detailed, and didn’t need to be, though if you are unfamiliar with the basics of character development it may be useful. The next two sections of the book were excellent. The flat change arc was very well described and it wasn’t too drawn out. The negative change arc section was also very educational and beca I didn’t like this book in the beginning. The positive change arc section was quite long and it was the one that I knew best and that I would expect others to know best as well. It was very detailed, and didn’t need to be, though if you are unfamiliar with the basics of character development it may be useful. The next two sections of the book were excellent. The flat change arc was very well described and it wasn’t too drawn out. The negative change arc section was also very educational and because of these two last sections, I ended up really enjoying the book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Tero

    After hearing about K.M. Weiland's books and reading portions of her blog for a while, I've finally read one of her books on writing! First off, I appreciate how CLEAN this book is as far as content. Many writers dive into vulgar or morally corrupt examples. While Weiland used some examples from movies or books I'd personally not watch/read, she was tactful in the information that she shared (like, "FINALLY, a writing book I can hand to my younger sisters!") Now, for content. I haven't read many b After hearing about K.M. Weiland's books and reading portions of her blog for a while, I've finally read one of her books on writing! First off, I appreciate how CLEAN this book is as far as content. Many writers dive into vulgar or morally corrupt examples. While Weiland used some examples from movies or books I'd personally not watch/read, she was tactful in the information that she shared (like, "FINALLY, a writing book I can hand to my younger sisters!") Now, for content. I haven't read many books about character structure, so there were many things that I now have to think about when creating characters. While I had known about character arcs, Weiland gives an understandable overview of how they work--Positive Arcs, Flat Arcs, and Negative Arcs--and gives plenty of examples from various books and movies. It took me about ten chapters to get into this book. Perhaps it was because I hadn't read any of Weiland's other books. In some ways, it seemed like she has her own "code" for writing (for example, all of the capitalized words: Truth, Lie, Thing He Wants, First Plot Point--which, just for me personally, cluttered the reading space and distracted me). It took me a while to get used to that and to figure out exactly what she meant by all of them (many were things I knew of, I just didn't know how she was using them). Once I got used to that, it was better. So I'm not sure if that's just me and maybe my brain doesn't work like Weiland's. Overall, there were helpful things in this book and I'll probably go back to it for specific sections.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Diz

    This book attempts to teach readers how to create interesting story arcs for their characters. Based on the examples, it seems that this book was written primarily for screenwriters. Unfortunately, it's a bit too formulaic for my taste. There are large sections of the book which consist of questions to ask about your characters. Also, there are long lists of examples from movies that illustrate the points being made. However, some of the examples given will leave you scratching your head. For ex This book attempts to teach readers how to create interesting story arcs for their characters. Based on the examples, it seems that this book was written primarily for screenwriters. Unfortunately, it's a bit too formulaic for my taste. There are large sections of the book which consist of questions to ask about your characters. Also, there are long lists of examples from movies that illustrate the points being made. However, some of the examples given will leave you scratching your head. For example, Disney's Treasure Planet is given as an example a few times. I'm not really sure that writers want to take lessons from a movie that was a flop.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Salman Israr

    Concise. Interesting. Helpful if you're into learning the craft (theory) of storytelling in any form. This was in a recommendation list of Like Stories of Old, and Lessons from Screenplay, so had to read it! Concise. Interesting. Helpful if you're into learning the craft (theory) of storytelling in any form. This was in a recommendation list of Like Stories of Old, and Lessons from Screenplay, so had to read it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Searska GreyRaven

    Books on writing tend to be very hit or miss, but this is one of the few really good ones I've come across. Solid advice on how to build a character arc, different kinds of arcs, and even a few short chapters on adding arcs to a longer series. My one gripe would be the over-arching assumption that the main character is always male. Several examples were non-male, but whenever the author spoke of a main character, it was always male. Got on my nerves after a while. FFS, mix it up a bit. Books on writing tend to be very hit or miss, but this is one of the few really good ones I've come across. Solid advice on how to build a character arc, different kinds of arcs, and even a few short chapters on adding arcs to a longer series. My one gripe would be the over-arching assumption that the main character is always male. Several examples were non-male, but whenever the author spoke of a main character, it was always male. Got on my nerves after a while. FFS, mix it up a bit.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kayleigh

    After reading this, I’m questioning everything I ever knew about character arcs. 😂 But seriously this book is so in-depth and perfect for plotters like me. Will definitely be implementing everything I learned in my next book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    I had a lot of enthusiasm for this book when I bought it. Perhaps I am not a good enough writer to appreciate the extensive information regarding the authors extreme interest in discussing character arcs and how they relate and are developed in the three acts of a novel. I contemplated donating this book but on second thought perhaps I will appreciate it more as I improve as an author. Maybe then I will be able to assimilate the pearls of wisdom the author has embedded in this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mrs. Y

    If you have been following on Twitter, no doubt you followed my NaNoWriMo whim. In November I settled on writing the novel that I had in my head and wanted to do so as quickly as possible. This post is not about what I wrote, as much as it is why I read this book. Though I did not get to this book before NaNo, I have read it before taking my rough draft to my first draft. Want to know more? Want a more structured story? Well, follow along with my friend, and set your expectations at the door and If you have been following on Twitter, no doubt you followed my NaNoWriMo whim. In November I settled on writing the novel that I had in my head and wanted to do so as quickly as possible. This post is not about what I wrote, as much as it is why I read this book. Though I did not get to this book before NaNo, I have read it before taking my rough draft to my first draft. Want to know more? Want a more structured story? Well, follow along with my friend, and set your expectations at the door and be ready to embark on a review of “Creating Character Arcs” By KM Weiland. Opinion Instinctively as a reader, and as anyone who reads, we all know that certain things must go together to have a good story before us. However, it takes someone who is immersed and can teach a craft to help others to improve theirs. I do not have a degree in writing, and frankly, I’m not sure I could handle that kind of schooling. I am however someone who does well with instruction manuals and putting them into practice. For me, this book was terrific for my style of learning. KM Weiland I think is the best kind of teacher. She teaches with demonstrations and examples, and the pacing of this book is just right for pausing and trying again. Everything is broken down very well, and in pieces that anyone should be able to understand. It also was eye-opening. There are some stories I’m drawn to, and I found out that my favorite kinds of protagonists are the ones that are in the negative change arcs. I knew what that was, but I didn’t realize it had a name to it. I love it when someone learns a lesson from negativity, and I’m not sure why that is important to me, but it is. To me, this seems far more realistic than definite change arcs. It’s much more difficult in my opinion for someone to turn out with a happy ending, rather than a grey or muddled one. So to hear what it is that makes a book work in a character arch, was eye-opening and helpful. While I loved and knew some of this by instinct, I know it much better after reading this book. I also want to point out this is not written as a book of “Well I know better than you ever will so listen to me.” There are several books about how to write books which are pushy just as I mentioned. “I’ve sold so many millions of books you would be stupid if you didn’t listen to me” is not the kind of thing I want to hear. Anyone can sell millions of books if that book is desirable, but that does not mean their methodology is what I can utilize for my writing style. KM Weiland makes no such claims in this story that she’s either better than I am nor that I’m obligated to listen to her or else. Instead, it’s written as a friend would give instructions, not some rabid taskmaster. I like that. I’d instead learn from a friendly approach than a relentless, cruel teacher. Those of you who are familiar with how I review “How To” books, will know I have to test it before I can officially evaluate it. So I have been, I’ve gone through some of the stories I love to check myself and see if the methods hold. Sure we can get into very technical things about structure and plot points, but this book is about character arcs specifically. I can say after checking several things; this book is very accurate to what it is saying. Indiana Jones has a positive change arch from the first movie to the Last Crusade. Sean Connery as Doctor Jones had a flat one. These are some subtle things I love, knowing what it is I’m watching helps me. I do recommend this book if you have no real training formally in writing. I’m not sure how this fairs with those who like to have “Oxford coma wars” with others on Twitter, but for me it’s helpful. Score I am going to 94% because it is so helpful. This makes it a 5-star review on Amazon and Goodreads. I am thinking about getting more of her books to understand writing as a craft better. This may also help me with book reviewing as well, as I will have an easier time pointing out what it is that I have noticed along the way.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Eldon Farrell

    Everything you need to know about this book really is right there in the title. K.M. Weiland takes you step by step through the process of constructing the three main character arcs (positive change, flat, and negative change) as well as slight variations on each. Each chapter follows pretty much the same structure and layout which makes returning later to check your own work rather easy. I feel every writer should read this at some point as it's not just for beginning writers. We could all benef Everything you need to know about this book really is right there in the title. K.M. Weiland takes you step by step through the process of constructing the three main character arcs (positive change, flat, and negative change) as well as slight variations on each. Each chapter follows pretty much the same structure and layout which makes returning later to check your own work rather easy. I feel every writer should read this at some point as it's not just for beginning writers. We could all benefit from something here. The only issues I had with this book were that most of the examples seemed to be odd choices. As Weiland steps through the major points of each featured example a lot of time ended up being devoted to such choices as Chicken Run, or Cars, or What About Bob? Even Thor and Batman Begins received the treatment. The common denominator with all of them obviously being movies. Weiland did touch on some classic fiction but I would've preferred more fiction examples as opposed to the screenplay heavy variety she chose. Aside from that, I still chaff at the very notion of such formula heavy writing. I still view being told where to place plot points and how to transition between acts as stifling to real creativity. But alas...her advice did cause me to view my own manuscript in a new light and so she earns the 5 stars. Any book that makes you think is one well worth reading.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rosey Waters

    This book slapped me in the face. As it turns out, I haven't been writing a change arc story, I've been writing a flat arc story. This is both good and bad -- major re-writes loom over my future, but I think they will be positive. This book slapped me in the face. As it turns out, I haven't been writing a change arc story, I've been writing a flat arc story. This is both good and bad -- major re-writes loom over my future, but I think they will be positive.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    An indispensable resource for writers or story lovers who want to better understand story structure. Uses lots of old and contemporary examples from films and novels to illustrate its claims. Arcs covered include the positive change arc, the flat arc, and the negative change (corruption or fall) arc. I got a lot of useful information from this book and will try incorporating the interplay between lies and truths that characters believe in my own attempts at fiction. Great narration in the audio An indispensable resource for writers or story lovers who want to better understand story structure. Uses lots of old and contemporary examples from films and novels to illustrate its claims. Arcs covered include the positive change arc, the flat arc, and the negative change (corruption or fall) arc. I got a lot of useful information from this book and will try incorporating the interplay between lies and truths that characters believe in my own attempts at fiction. Great narration in the audio book as well, and it doesn’t overstay its welcome. If anything, it might even be too short. 4.5/5 but giving it a solid 5 because I kept saying “YES!” and nodding along as I listened. I mean, not really, but you get the idea.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Faith Rivens

    KM Weiland does it again. Full review to come but a highly valuable resource for writers looking to strengthen character arcs!

  17. 4 out of 5

    J.Paul Thunders

    really informative. it gave me more insights on how to create three-dimentional, flawed, and nuanced characters that feel like real people.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Schuyler

    Every author knows the delight of sinking your teeth into a powerful writing craft book. It gives you a further glimpse into your craft, opportunity to mull over how you do things, compare it to how others do things, and find YOUR happy process along the way. But lest this book seems strictly writer-related, it's far from it! If you love to read, and want to learn more about the science behind how characters are created, then pick up K.M. Weiland's newest release (today!) Creating Character Arcs. Every author knows the delight of sinking your teeth into a powerful writing craft book. It gives you a further glimpse into your craft, opportunity to mull over how you do things, compare it to how others do things, and find YOUR happy process along the way. But lest this book seems strictly writer-related, it's far from it! If you love to read, and want to learn more about the science behind how characters are created, then pick up K.M. Weiland's newest release (today!) Creating Character Arcs. Before you know it, you'll be bossing around terms like "flat arc" "midpoint" and "bleak moment" for everything from Beyond the Mask to Doctor Strange. It makes viewing and reading that much richer, and conversations with bookish friends that much more fun. I've read Ms. Weiland's blog, so her thoughts on characters weren't completely new to me. But reading it all in one book cover to cover was far easier than opening dozens of internet tabs in my quest to improve my characters. Katie has a relaxing, fun, and informative style to her writing books that make it easy to read, while every section is packed rich with information to improve your writing. She includes concrete tips, examples from film and literature (both classic and modern) and great questions at the end of every chapter to get you thinking how you're doing with your own characters. When I finished writing War of Honor this spring, I remember walking away feeling like my main character had no arc. It was just the thing I was afraid would happen. But as I went through her book, and answered some of the questions at the end of each chapter, I was very happy to discover that my character was grappling, learning, gaining tools, and finding defeat or victory moments at just the right places. I'm sure much of that came from instinctual absorption of Katie's teaching, and reading Creating Character Arcs was just the confirmation I needed to know that I have been following good structure--now all I need in draft two is to shine it up and polish it. I highly recommend this book for an informative read for writers and readers alike--character arcs are super fun to discuss, and I'm even using what I learned from this book to think through the story of Esther that our pastor is preaching about! Head on over to Amazon and treat yourself to a copy! I received an advance copy from the author. All opinions expressed are my own.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Josiah

    Disclaimer: I have received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I’ve followed Weiland's blog and read her books for several years now, so I had high expectations for this book. Weiland not only matched my expectations, but even surpassed them. There were certain things I was expecting Weiland to do a great job at: carefully explaining how to develop a thematic arc as a war between a lie and a truth; comprehensively showing how the truth can overcome the lie in the course of a Disclaimer: I have received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I’ve followed Weiland's blog and read her books for several years now, so I had high expectations for this book. Weiland not only matched my expectations, but even surpassed them. There were certain things I was expecting Weiland to do a great job at: carefully explaining how to develop a thematic arc as a war between a lie and a truth; comprehensively showing how the truth can overcome the lie in the course of a novel; and helpfully using a strong plethora of examples to show these principles in action. All of this was great, and while she focuses the most on a positive character arc, she still spend a lot of time delving into the flat and negative character arcs, and her three-fold division of the negative arc in particular was really helpful. All of this was excellent work, and I expected that. What I didn’t expect in this book was how much Weiland ties the character arc to the truths of human nature. The idea of a character arc isn’t just a central idea for fiction. It’s a fundamental fact of human psychology, and Weiland delves into this with the depth it deserves. She constantly brings back the structure of the character arc to the reality of human nature, and it's this constant return that absolutely sold me on the value of this book. I cannot recommend Weiland’s book highly enough. The book does everything it’s supposed to do and more. For anyone who wants to learn more about writing themes and compelling character arcs, this book comes with my highest recommendations. Rating: 4.5-5 Stars (Extremely Good).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    Title: Creating Character Arcs Written By: K.M. Weiland Genre: Writing Helps/Non-fiction Recommended Ages: Any Introduction: I had never really thought much about character arcs until recently. So I picked up this book and read it. It was amazing! Clarity: 1/1 Everything in the book is well thought out and easy to understand. K.M. Weiland uses examples from well-known stories. Some I knew and some I didn't, but even with the stories I didn't know, I figured out enough to have them help me make more sen Title: Creating Character Arcs Written By: K.M. Weiland Genre: Writing Helps/Non-fiction Recommended Ages: Any Introduction: I had never really thought much about character arcs until recently. So I picked up this book and read it. It was amazing! Clarity: 1/1 Everything in the book is well thought out and easy to understand. K.M. Weiland uses examples from well-known stories. Some I knew and some I didn't, but even with the stories I didn't know, I figured out enough to have them help me make more sense of what exactly needed to be done. Usability: 1/1 Extremely usable for any author. I highly recommend it. Readability: 1/1 The format and words used were definitely readable. Overall writing quality: 1/1 K.M. Weiland has an easy-to-read style to her writing that makes it enjoyable to read her books whether they are fiction or non-fiction. Un-put-down-ability: 1/1 Due to the amount of information in this book, I did have to put it down a few times just to let my brain get a little rest, but otherwise it was hard to set aside. Conclusion: Every author should read this book. No matter how good they think they are at character development.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sherrie Marshall Spitz

    After I read Structure Your Novel by Weiland, I snatched up every instructional writing book this author has published. Creating Character Arcs is one more gem in my resource library of books on craft. This book makes little things like characteristic scene moments and characters who act on false assumptions understandable and easy to balance. Using the clear thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter deepen the entire writing process. Not only am I impressed enough to own a digital After I read Structure Your Novel by Weiland, I snatched up every instructional writing book this author has published. Creating Character Arcs is one more gem in my resource library of books on craft. This book makes little things like characteristic scene moments and characters who act on false assumptions understandable and easy to balance. Using the clear thought provoking questions at the end of each chapter deepen the entire writing process. Not only am I impressed enough to own a digital copy of the book, I bought a hard copy so that I can flip to pertinent sections that relate to my current WIP. Weiland's instructional style has changed how readers perceive my writing. So many have commented on the major improvements I've made. I owe this to Ms. Weiland and her command of the crafted word. Creating Character Arcs is a timely publication that will be relative to authors for years to come. Don't miss this one! Sherrie Marshall

  22. 4 out of 5

    Malcolm Logan

    A helpful corollary to the organic method of composition, this step-by-step examination of the psychological transformation of fictional characters encourages the writer to identify each place in the story where the character grows or regresses in order to build dramatic tension and sustain reader interest. I found it most useful in combination with an already existing plot line. It allowed me to go back and re-jigger plot points to make them fall within a "best practices" continuum. 
Ultimately A helpful corollary to the organic method of composition, this step-by-step examination of the psychological transformation of fictional characters encourages the writer to identify each place in the story where the character grows or regresses in order to build dramatic tension and sustain reader interest. I found it most useful in combination with an already existing plot line. It allowed me to go back and re-jigger plot points to make them fall within a "best practices" continuum. 
Ultimately, the same structure can be arrived at by a more organic method, but it will take longer. For this reason, the book’s main value, it seems to me, is as a helpful reference during the plotting process, to speed things along, and not as a how-to for constructing a story from scratch. In other words, know your character first, have some idea of how you want your plot to unfold, and then reference this book as you put together your plot line. I will definitely use it again.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sidharth Kriplani

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It's short-stuff, and I wouldn't read any book on writing that went beyond this length. Explores various angles to creating Character Arcs, no arcs, flat arcs, positive negative arcs, series arcs, trilogy, etc, everything so I could say that it is useful in order to have a basic know how of stories to get started on, with writing your story. The chapters always have the same format: describe the arc phase, where it the ales place, how it manifests itself using examples from famous storied and th It's short-stuff, and I wouldn't read any book on writing that went beyond this length. Explores various angles to creating Character Arcs, no arcs, flat arcs, positive negative arcs, series arcs, trilogy, etc, everything so I could say that it is useful in order to have a basic know how of stories to get started on, with writing your story. The chapters always have the same format: describe the arc phase, where it the ales place, how it manifests itself using examples from famous storied and then questions to ask yourself when creating those character arcs.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Clare S-B

    With only a few days to go until Camp Nano I still had some stuff about characters to work out. So I picked up this book and spent the day reading through it, I managed to come up with lots more ideas for my story I am plotting/outlining. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to writer a better story and understand character arcs better. It has helped me, and I think reading that book in front of the fire was a day well spent.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Krista | The Bookish HedgeMom

    First, I would like to preface this review by saying that I have absolutely zero background in creative writing outside of high school. I am 100% self-taught. Which is why I love to read books like this! Creating Character Arcs is a very helpful resource to writers who aren’t familiar with the basic types of character arcs. If you’re like me, you’ve actually been using one of these formats for as long as you’ve been writing without knowing it. Though it’s a very informative book to read through, First, I would like to preface this review by saying that I have absolutely zero background in creative writing outside of high school. I am 100% self-taught. Which is why I love to read books like this! Creating Character Arcs is a very helpful resource to writers who aren’t familiar with the basic types of character arcs. If you’re like me, you’ve actually been using one of these formats for as long as you’ve been writing without knowing it. Though it’s a very informative book to read through, it’s also organized in a fashion that would make it easy to quickly reference as well. Each section explores each of the 3 main arcs (positive, negative and flat), with a section dedicated to frequently asked questions such as “Should all my minor characters have arcs?”. The sections are further broken down in to the different components of the arc type as it pertains to the structure of the story. Each chapter is comprised of theory, examples from movies and books relevant in pop culture and a series of questions you as a writer should be asking yourself. I especially loved the examples taken from pop culture! Not 1, or 2 or 3 but 10 movies/books are used as examples in the positive arc section alone! And the same movies are used as examples for each chapter in the section. So you could follow a single example all the way through the section so you can see how it all comes together. After reading the first section, I started seeing components of the positive arc used everywhere! Overall, I found this book to be extremely helpful. Weiland starts with the big picture, and breaks down the material to the nitty gritty details. Creating Character Arcs gave me a lot to think about in my own work in progress, and has opened my eyes to new and different aspects of the craft. I would recommend this book for any writer with little to no formal training in creative writing!

  26. 4 out of 5

    A.L. Buehrer

    I will be referencing this book heavily as I revise and edit my upcoming novel. This was, like the other Weiland craft book I read, a very clarifying book. I love how she tied the character arc so organically with the plot structure. I always appreciate when things can be unified in a streamlined way. The rhythm of the character arc follows the rhythm of the story structure—so really, they’re just two facets of the novel’s movement. When you see this, like Weiland helps you do, in this book, it I will be referencing this book heavily as I revise and edit my upcoming novel. This was, like the other Weiland craft book I read, a very clarifying book. I love how she tied the character arc so organically with the plot structure. I always appreciate when things can be unified in a streamlined way. The rhythm of the character arc follows the rhythm of the story structure—so really, they’re just two facets of the novel’s movement. When you see this, like Weiland helps you do, in this book, it keeps you from freaking out trying to think about the character change and the story-flow at the same time. The only complaint I have about Weiland’s writing is, she kind of reads like a blog. She’s almost too chatty for me. But really, I love the way she presents information. It’s very straight-forward and non-fluffy. There are other authors who get a little self-indulgent—maybe that’s not the word. Maybe pretentious? I don’t know. They just don’t always get straight to actual practical, usable information. Weiland gives you what you came for without beating around the bush of personal philosophy, or anything. I really needed this book. I have some intuitive sense of character arc, as most people do, but it’s very helpful for me to be able to label what I’m working with and step back to see it as a whole system. I recommend this book for people who want to focus and strengthen their character work and improve their overall plot at the same time.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    I just like the way K. M. Weiland explains things. I was familiar with the Positive Change Arc and knew a couple of things about the Negative Arc, but the information on Flat Arcs was very interesting, as it turns out that my favourite characters usually fall under this category and I didn't even know it. I am a person who loves organizations and to-do lists, but some of the things mentioned here were a bit rigid even for me. However, the basics of character arcs was very well laid out and the au I just like the way K. M. Weiland explains things. I was familiar with the Positive Change Arc and knew a couple of things about the Negative Arc, but the information on Flat Arcs was very interesting, as it turns out that my favourite characters usually fall under this category and I didn't even know it. I am a person who loves organizations and to-do lists, but some of the things mentioned here were a bit rigid even for me. However, the basics of character arcs was very well laid out and the author gave me enough tools to keep going on my own without having the feeling that I'm just winging it. A great read for aspiring authors or for anyone who would like to understand the art of storytelling.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Raluca

    So I have not actually started to construct my character arcs but I will be suing this book as I go along. I have my peeves with it, such as there is a lot of waste of paper (blank pages, pages with just a quote, big sized font) and the fact that some of the movies used to exemplify were not the best chosen ( esp in the positive act development) but it gives you a brief and easy to go through run down of what you need to do and uses many quotes from authors who probably have done a better job at So I have not actually started to construct my character arcs but I will be suing this book as I go along. I have my peeves with it, such as there is a lot of waste of paper (blank pages, pages with just a quote, big sized font) and the fact that some of the movies used to exemplify were not the best chosen ( esp in the positive act development) but it gives you a brief and easy to go through run down of what you need to do and uses many quotes from authors who probably have done a better job at explaining things, if you want to look them up. What this book does best is that after every chapter there is a series of questions that will help you not only think about what your character needs to evolve, but also how to further the plot.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mara (marasfoldedpages)

    It follows important changes in character and where along the beat sheet their progress should be. This gives a more in depth look at character development throughout the story and as a main source of conflict and plot. However, it was very step by step and numbered. It got daunting around halfway through, and I lost interest a couple times where I felt like I should just ignore it and let my creativity shine through. Would I get any more of this authors books on writing? Possibly. It would reall It follows important changes in character and where along the beat sheet their progress should be. This gives a more in depth look at character development throughout the story and as a main source of conflict and plot. However, it was very step by step and numbered. It got daunting around halfway through, and I lost interest a couple times where I felt like I should just ignore it and let my creativity shine through. Would I get any more of this authors books on writing? Possibly. It would really depend on if I thought I needed a lot of help in one specific area and wanted to read widely on the topic. Overall, it uses good real story examples, most of which I had read so I understood what the author was trying to get across. 4/5 stars

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Fendrich

    Wow, wow, wow. As a fan of K.M. Weiland’s podcast, I was looking forward to reading this book, and it did not disappoint. The one word that keeps coming to mind is “practical.” Maybe the most nuts-and-bolts practical book on writing that I’ve ever read. As I was listening to it on Audible, I thought, “the one thing this book needs is a checklist, or writing prompts to help you apply what’s being said to your own stories.” This was a foolish thought, though, as I quickly learned that the whole da Wow, wow, wow. As a fan of K.M. Weiland’s podcast, I was looking forward to reading this book, and it did not disappoint. The one word that keeps coming to mind is “practical.” Maybe the most nuts-and-bolts practical book on writing that I’ve ever read. As I was listening to it on Audible, I thought, “the one thing this book needs is a checklist, or writing prompts to help you apply what’s being said to your own stories.” This was a foolish thought, though, as I quickly learned that the whole darn thing is a writing prompt checklist. I wasn’t even done with chapter one before I had to pause and use my phone to record ideas I had for character development in my current WIPs. Five out of five stars, easy.

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