Using Arc Beyond Characters

I’ve talked about character before but I’m going deeper this time.

Have you ever thought about giving a character like arc to things that technically are not characters?

Did I just lose you? What I’m getting at is that characters are not the only ones that change within a story. At least they shouldn’t be the only one’s changing.

Your setting can change within the story. No, I don’t mean a new place. I mean the place changes with your characters. For example, a clock tower in the beginning is a familiar comfort but as the book progresses your character views the clock tower with greater and greater frustration at it’s ever present presence. The setting has an arc of change even if it’s just a change in perception. This adds tension, conflict, and tone to your story in a new and dynamic way.

Your culture within your story should change. If your main character is doing a good job the culture around them should change. It should arc. It can arc positively or negatively but as the characters move through the plot the culture around them should shift in some way in response to the character actions. Does your character make the world a better place? A worse place? Or a different place? Show it happening within the story structure to create a culture arc.

Taking the time to add this level of change and dynamic flow within your story will make your world more believable and your setting like the air the reader is breathing. Don’t pass up this opportunity in your story.

Take a few minutes and check your setting and culture arcs within your story. Do you have one? Or is it static and unchanging?

Happy Questing!



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