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8 Things You Need To Know About Character Arcs

This is a wonderful post for all of you currently writing fiction and needing advice/suggestions about character arcs. As I was reading Debbie’s post, I realized that I provided different arcs for different characters in my last two NaNoWriMo novels. That’s a good thing, but I hadn’t put much thought into why I was doing that. Debbie’s post actually gives me an understanding of what I’ve done and (hopefully) how to make sure the arcs worked for the characters.


Jaime-Lannister1. Character arcs are not 100% necessary. I’m going to get this out of the way first thing.

This argument is made all the time, and there’s some truth to it. There are some very successful characters that never have a character arc. James Bond is the one most mentioned. While he was retooled somewhat when Daniel Craig took over the role in the movies, the character has never undergone a significant arc. Miss Marple never has an arc, or Hercule Poirot, or Stephanie Plum.

See a pattern here? They’re all characters in a long-running series of stand-alone books. While there are series characters that have arcs (I would argue Indiana Jones is an example) most don’t have them. Mainly because having the characters change would disrupt the series too much.

2. However, not giving your character one can simply be laziness on your part. Just because there are…

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Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

2 replies

  1. This is really useful, thank you for sharing. I have a story I really want to write but I am finding incredibly hard to actually do it! Reading your blog is really inspiring, thank you!!


    1. Thanks so much, Lau! I’m glad you enjoy my blog. As much as I enjoy it, writing is hard to do, so you’re not alone :). Between trying to find the time while working a regular day job and trying to feel inspired when I’m bone-tired, I’m surprised I get any writing done. But when I do write, when I manage to carve a few quiet hours out for myself and shut the door on my inner editor, it can feel so good to write. I hope it gets easier for you over time 🙂


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