I got a confession to make… I can’t stand Spring. The main reason being my allergies! Ugh, this May, my allergies have been on overdrive! I don’t know about you, but it makes me so miserable. The sneezing, the congestion, the watery mouth, the itchy eyes, all of it is just terrible. It seems that every year, May is when it’s the worst! I take allergy pills, but they half work. I sometimes take multiple pills and that works only sometimes. I just hate it. Anyway, don’t mind me. I’m just venting through my snot. For this month, lets talk about character arcs.
Character arcs might be the most important thing to consider when writing. A great story is one that takes everyone on an exciting journey, both the reader and the characters within the tale. That’s what lures in the reader. They see the characters that they have grown attached to go on a journey and want to go on that ride with them, to see where their story ends up. The best stories are the ones that are transformative in some way. In other words, the characters go on an arc, a character arc. They start off the story in one place and by the end, they’ve arrived in a new place. This could be physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, anything really. As long as they’ve changed in some way over the course of the story, it can be enthralling and addictive for the reader, who may relate to their journey in some profound way.
A character’s arc can take place over the course of a single book, or over multiple books. The most compelling ones do both. That’s the case with the characters of The Black Diamond. Let’s focus on The Witch’s Curse, though. Obviously, I won’t go into heavy spoilers (what’s the fun in that?), and part of the fun is discovering the arc of a character as it unfolds, but I will just outline what you should be looking for in terms of the journey of each of the four main characters.
First up is Derek. As you know, Derek is the central character of The Witch’s Curse. He starts off the book as a new college student. He is very confident, bordering on arrogant, in both his personal life and magical one. He starts to encounter things that begin to chip away at that confidence and he has to figure out how to deal with that.
Second is Matthias. Matt is the intellectual and moral compass of the group. He is an only child, so he is used to doing things on his own. Not only does he have to learn how to work within the confines of a group of peers, those peers are not as… let’s just say… rule-abiding as he is. How he is affected by his new friends and the chaos they bring to his life is just one of the things to look out for.
Omar immediately clashes with Derek. They are two alpha-male personalities and Omar has no initial desire to help him with anything, especially when helping involves placing himself in danger. Will he? And what will it take to get him to that point? That’s the question.
Finally, you’ve got Tre. His arc is the most obvious and transformative of them all in some ways. He’s the only one that’s new to magic. He has it, but didn’t know anything about the ins and outs. Meeting the others and being sucked into their world, he must learn the craft quickly to survive. Knowledge and experience. That’s his journey.
Next month: Happy Anniversary!