Minor Forces of Change #AuthorToolBoxBlogHop #amwriting
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Thank you Raimey!
How often have you said, “They’ll never change.”
Maybe you met someone in grade school, your friendship waned, you became friends again, only to fight and separate for like the fifteen-hundredth time.
Maybe you have a parent who you could never make understand what you were saying. Maybe they’ve said back, “I’m too old to change.”
Maybe a teacher you met got stuck in an educational pattern afraid of new curriculum or props. In any case, what’s true in our worlds may also be true in writing.
This week, I’m focusing on a writing question on character arc and minor characters. Are arcs necessary for characters beyond the protagonist?
Personally, I don’t tend to spend a lot of time thinking about how I can make minor characters change. If they do change because my MC does, then great. If not, *scratching my head* I’m not really sure if the need is there to the same depth as the protagonist.
To address my question, I cruised some of my writing sources and found a great chapter on the topic by K.M. Weiland in Creating Character ARCS: The Masterful Author’s Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development.
At the very back of the book I found exactly what I hoped to find:
“…Every prominent minor character should have an arc. Just not a full arc.”
So what qualifies as a minor arc?
According to Weiland and her screenwriting resources, minor arcs should include:
- Reaction to goals
- Lastly, are these goals fulfilled in the end?
As far as I can tell, these minor arc qualifiers seem real to life.
Weiland later states, “Your protagonist’s arc is the story (and if it’s not, then he’s not the protagonist). All other arcs must be subordinate to that arc. (254-255)
From what I gathered in reading the chapter on minor character arcs, the basis of your decision should be theme. All minor character arcs should be tied to a goal, a conflict, and a resolution relevant to the same themes as the main character.
Happy Hop Day 🙂