Writer’s Notebook: Plotting Character Arc Part 1

I will admit plot is nor the easiest for me. So I grabbed ny book Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. I decided to work on character arc. I love character building so I thought I would start here.

In chapter 9 the book it breaks down the layers of our belief system as beliefs > values > dominant attitudes > opinions. It states,

If you think about it, these layers get “softer” as they move away from the core. Thus, the outer layers are easiest to change.

Let’s apply this to a character. Amy believes art is the most noble of all industries. She values music over money. Her attitude is if it’s not creative I can’t do it. Her opinion ie people who make popular music just for money are a disgrace.

If she changes her belief it will affect her opinion. If she changes her opinion if may not effect her belief. She may one day see someone performing horrible cover songs to make ends meet. She still believes being a musician is more important than being a doctor. But if she decides making money is more important she might consider the math genius who turned down a job on Wall Street to be irresponsible.

I will say the other layers seem to run together, so I would concentrate on the beliefs and opinions of my characters and go from there.

Have any tips or great examples? Please share them in the comments.

If you want to chat I am available at caramelsarajo.


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