by Adam Huddleston
Continuing on my theme of literary terms, let’s take a quick look at “character arc.” It is simply defined as the inner transformation of a character over the course of a story. No matter what external forces are acting upon the character, it is the inner journey that creates the character arc.
A few examples: The character “Red” from the film “The Shawshank Redemption”. At the beginning of the story, the hardened inmate believes that there is very little light left in his life. He makes the comment that hope is a dangerous thing and can drive a man insane in prison. By the end of the tale, he has adopted the philosophy of his new friend, Andy Dufresne; that hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things.
Frodo Baggins from “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy begins the tale very comfortable at home and not believing that he has much bravery inside of him. After a long a deadly journey across his world, he becomes much more mature and sure of himself.
Finally, Han Solo from the “Star Wars” saga. When we first meet Han in Episode 4, he states that he has no belief in the “force”, that it is simply a collection of tricks. In the recently released Episode 7, he has learned that the “force” does exist. He even admits to another character, “Crazy thing is… it’s true. The Force. The Jedi. All of it. It’s all true.”
Aspire to infuse a character arc in the characters that populate your story. Your fans will thank you.