Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Are You Missing the Best Part of the Story?

For many readers, the story is all about the plot. They want to know what happens. The danger with a plot focus is you become so busy following the action that you miss the most important part of the tale. You will enjoy the story more if you read for the character arc. Story is about the characters. The plot is merely a device for moving the characters from where they are to where they need to be.

What is character arc?
Character arc is the journey the character is on as he or she moves through the plot. Like real people, characters are at a particular place in their development as human beings (or cyberborgs if you, like YA author Karen T. Smith, prefer sci-fi). And like most of us, fiction characters don’t change unless some outside event kicks them in the butt and gets them started. If you want the character to leave home, kill off the parents. If you want the character to take a cross-country trip, fire them from their job and kick them out of their apartment.

See how the action or plot of the story is dictated by the author's desire to move the character forward? While many readers focus on the murder of the parents or the start of a road trip, the real adventure has to do with how the events of the story change the character.

While you’re focusing on the main character, keep an eye on the other characters. What are the characters like at the start of the story? How do they change along the journey? How are they different at the end of the story compared to the beginning?

For a story rich in character, read my novel Fulfillment. You can read a chunk of it free. You may click here for Amazon or click here for paperback. Fulfillment is the Christmas story as only Paul R. Lloyd can tell it: pure suspense, thriller, horror, mystery, romance and spiritual warfare. Satan is out to stop the first Christmas by attacking Mary, a pregnant teenager with moxie and connections in high places. Fiction designed to keep your lights on.

Here’s another novel idea…
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