I’m looking for some kind of charting software which would help me to make character arcs which actually look like arcs. At this point, there seems no such thing, but in the process I found some interesting resources worth bookmarking which are shared below.
These are for writers in developing characters (and the plot points and structure necessary for that development).
Character Evolution Files
In July last year Sara Letourneau began a post series on her website under the theme of Character Evolution. In this series she has described several standard plot or turning points and linked these with the main character’s developmental arc. The series also provides a downloadable PDF (found off this page) which tables plot with character points.
The Character Evolution Files is a monthly series. At this point, the last post of the series was published only a couple of days ago, and the series has arrived at the Midpoint of a standard plot, so there are many posts yet to go. There is also a lot of time to catch up and read the previous posts which I recommend.
Character Arc and Themes
A year ago Sara Letourneau guest posted at DIY MFA with a post on character arc as theme. This post is also worth a read, and there is a worksheet available on Sara’s site (found off this page) to accompany it.
Masterplots to Support Your Character and Story
Most of us are aware that next month there will be a huge blogging publishing challenge in the A-Z Blogging Challenge which will include hundreds of writers. Even if you aren’t participating one worth bookmarking for the month may be Write on Sisters,who have just announced their theme for the month – Masterplots Theater. Over April the blog will profile 26 different universal or master plots with examples.
However, in choosing the 26 to fit into the A to Z theme, the writers had to discount many more. One discounted plot – The Revenge Plot, has been released as a post this week for our reference.
Character Reactions and Interactions
The Write on Sisters have recently also posted a couple of good posts for character development. Both posts feature charts showing us how a character will interact with other characters or react to story events, depending on genre. If you like emoticons and charts, these will help.
- Character Development: The Reaction Chart (to story events)
- Character Development: The Interaction Chart (to other characters)
Character Arc Charts
Because I wanted a header image for this post, I used this one –
There are plenty of examples of character transformational arcs out there, and if you hand-draw a big one on the wall, you can place sticky note plot points onto the charts to link events with character. My problem is I can’t use a standard graph shape as I have a character who’s arc plummets before rising again – across a series. This would take more than a wall to plot out, but appears worth it to me, to make sure the whole series works consistently across all main characters.
Most plotted character arcs like this are hand-drawn, but it seems a case for digital help here. And yet I can’t find any chart mapping software that works easily to create this. If you know of any likely apps, please leave a comment.