The Lie We Love To Read #AuthorToolboxBlogHop #amwriting
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Thank you Raimey!
Would you agree that most people are creatures of habit?
If you agree, and maybe you’re one of them, do you believe people have a difficult time adjusting to change?
According to K.M. Weiland in Creating Character Arcs, characters like people wish for change, swear they’ll do it either to themselves or for someone else, but all in all, they fight tooth and nail against change. Unless something major happens to them, hence the plot.
Today, I’m reflecting on the character arc and the reason behind change: the lie we hold as truth so tightly we can’t see or allow ourselves to believe in any other way.
Unless something major happens and we do change.
And hopefully for the better.
The thing that keeps us from change is the what Weiland points out is “The Lie.”
And what is a lie?
Something in your character’s life is lacking, “some reason that makes the change necessary … He is harboring some deeply held misconception about either himself, the world, or probably both. This misconception is going to prove a direct obstacle to his ability to fulfill his plot goal.” (Weiland)
Let’s take one of my favorite movies: Star Trek.
Young Kirk starts off stealing a corvette, completely alone, and defies the local police by driving it straight off a cliff. He survives. The car does not. He could have died. But he has something to prove: rebellion, independence, and affirming his deeply healthy ego in how right and awesome he is.
According to K.M. Weiland, a character arc for positive change is made up of The Want, The Need, and The Lie.
This Lie “plays out in your character’s life, and your story, through the conflict between the Thing He Needs (the Truth) and the Thing He Wants (the perceived cure for the symptoms of the Lie). Chapter Two.
The Kirk Want = He lives for himself, his own rules/kingdom, and no one will get hurt because no one else is let into his world.
The Kirk Need = Earn honest respect in Leadership by putting others first, like his dad.
The Kirk Lie= Being right and doing it better than anyone else makes you the best at whatever cost.
So how do you find the lie?
Weiland has a great list of questions to consider and I’ll just mention my two favorite:
- What misconception does your protagonist have about himself or the world?
- When the story opens, is the Lie making his life miserable? If so, how?
There are so many other great questions to consider. Need more examples? The book is filled with them. I also ordered the Character Arcs Workbook as a secondary resource. So far I’m loving them both so much.
Happy Hop Day 🙂