Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Creating Character Arcs--K.M. Weiland's New Release!
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.
Here are my thoughts on this book.
The Book [From Amazon]
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!
If you've ever read a character that seemed kind of flat, never learned anything they should have, or changed from bad to good so fast you got whiplash, they probably had a poorly crafted character arc. If you've ever read a sequel where the character seemed to unlearn everything they learned and then learn it a second time, it was definitely a poorly crafted character arc. That happens in the world of literature--but it doesn't have to.
Writing is a science, and Ms. Weiland has dedicated her time to unlocking that science for many of us author wanna-bes. Her popular website, www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com, has helped readers around the globe. It's one of my top recommendations. I love her upbeat style and generous interaction. But she doesn't stop at the outlining. Her books take much of her blog content and make it easy and accessible for learning writers. Her Outlining and Structuring books have seen me through lots of spring and summer afternoons, working on War of Honor. So when I had a chance to review Creating Character Arcs, I jumped at it.
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. She 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. No affiliate links in this post.