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  • Creating Character Arcs

  • The Masterful Author's Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development
  • Written by: K.M. Weiland
  • Narrated by: Sonja Field
  • Length: 5 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Powerful character arcs create powerful stories.

Have you written a story with an exciting concept and interesting characters - but it just isn't grabbing the attention of readers or agents? It's time to look deeper into the story beats that create realistic and compelling character arcs. Internationally published, award-winning novelist K.M. Weiland shares her acclaimed method for achieving memorable and moving character arcs in every book you write.

By applying the foundation of the three-act story structure and then delving even deeper into the psychology of realistic and dynamic human change, Weiland offers a beat-by-beat checklist of character arc guidelines that flexes to fit any type of story.

This comprehensive book will teach you:

  • How to determine which arc - positive, negative, or flat - is right for your character.
  • Why you should never pit plot against character. Instead, learn how to blend story structure and character development.
  • How to recognize and avoid the worst pitfalls of writing novels without character arcs.
  • How to hack the secret to using overarching character arcs to create amazing trilogies and series.
  • And much more!

Gaining an understanding of how to write character arcs is a game-changing moment in any author's pursuit of the craft.

Bring your characters to unforgettable and realistic life - and take your stories from good to great!

©2016 K.M. Weiland (P)2017 K.M. Weiland

What listeners say about Creating Character Arcs

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Indispensable

An indispensable resource for writers or story lovers who want to better understand story structure. Uses lots of old and contemporary examples from films and novels to illustrate its claims. Arcs covered include the positive change arc, the flat arc, and the negative change (corruption or fall) arc. I got a lot of useful information and will try incorporating the interplay between lies and truths that characters believe in my own attempts at fiction. Great narration as well, and doesn’t overstay its welcome. If anything, it might even be too short.

2 people found this helpful

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great for writers

this is a good complementary read to books like Save the Cat which focuses on plot. this will make you think about your characters inner journey, not just the outside events! quick and informative.

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  • C. Deputy
  • 2018-06-07

Why We Read (Listen To) These Books

If, like me, you have read all of the other books in this genre (Story, Screenplay, Save the Cat, etc.), there is nothing really new to be found beyond a deeper look into the specific aspects of character arc. I like these books because sometimes a different perspective on the same subject can be illuminating. Instead of hearing Robert McKee for the fifth time, I can listen to Ms. Weiland say nearly the same thing. but from a slightly different perspective. Sometimes this is all I need to break through writer's block or a particular problem I may be having with a story. i would rank this book just after Story and above Save the Cat.

36 people found this helpful

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  • Pi
  • 2018-09-05

Doesn't waste your time

One problem I've grown increasingly tired of with advice books is excessive padding. Rather than specific advice, most books drag on forever finding new ways to rephrase the core thesis of each section, substituting repetition for insight.

Not so with Creating Character Arcs. This book is packed with pointed advice and clearly articulated examples. What little repetition exists merely serves to reorganize the majors points at the end of each chapter in a way that you can quickly reference for your own projects.

I also appreciate the bravery in giving real advice, as opposed to couching everything in murky terms of "personal judgment" or "taste." That's not to say that every piece of advice will apply to every project, but the writer recognizes that we can make those decisions for ourselves, avoiding the unnecessary qualifiers that plague so many other books in this genre.

This book is surprisingly dense with useful information, and it sets the standard, not just for writing advice books, but for advice books as a whole.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Burk
  • 2017-04-28

Stop. Stop Now!

Would you try another book from K.M. Weiland and/or Sonja Field?

Never

What do you think your next listen will be?

Anything else

Would you be willing to try another one of Sonja Field’s performances?

Possibly

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Creating Character Arcs?

All of them

Any additional comments?

This is a book for hacks, not for writers looking to pursue a serious expansion of their skills or craft. It is a base level, bullet point list of formulaic approaches to writing. If you want to write commercial fiction to sell in grocery store magazine racks, or are just starting out and don't know what a character arc is, this is a good place to start. If you understand the concepts of plot, character, and story structure, this title has nothing to offer you other than aggravation.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Cliff
  • 2017-08-12

Let's All Use Formulas From Marvel and Pixar?

When Welland goes to examples from such drivel as Marvel's The Mighty Thor and Pixar's Cars, it seems like a how-to-book for future pop culture creators or young studio execs who need to keep busy giving notes. Is the bar really this low?

What of Bogart's Rick in Casablanca? What about Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovic? Dustin Hoffman in the Graduate? There are hundreds of great examples from brilliant films, let's start at the top and work our way down to the kiddie section.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2017-06-16

Character Arc Perfection!

If you could sum up Creating Character Arcs in three words, what would they be?

Character analysis mastery!

What other book might you compare Creating Character Arcs to and why?

There are dozens of books on character building, but this book shows how your character faces the challenges in your story.

Have you listened to any of Sonja Field’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first time I heard the voice of Sonja Field.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

This book equipped me with the tools necessary to help my characters fulfill their purpose in my novels.

Any additional comments?

Before you publish your novel, read this book!

10 people found this helpful

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  • Oneadem
  • 2018-04-27

Brilliant Resource

The ebook and workbook weren't enough; I couldn't leave for work without grabbing the audio version, too. It's packed with so much great character-building information you'll need to slow down the read rate and take it all in. During a rough week at work, this selection made the commute more than worthwhile.

This is a must own for story writers.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Evelyn Williamson
  • 2017-05-17

Best writing book I've read.

I'm so thankful for this book. The information was clear and understandable, there were a lot of examples and I loved the question at the end of each chapter. They made me think as I was listening and ultimately saved my novel from the trash folder (figuratively, I'd never actually toss it out permanently.)
There is a lot of repeated information from Structuring Your Novel, but I read this one first, and now that I have read that one I think this is ultimately the better book. I can't wait until the workbook is released.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Sophia Clay
  • 2019-11-14

good tips but ironically lacks character

this plays like a cook book and really only has strenght if you can pace it and dart around looking for certain points.

because of its persistent point after point as an audio book it is forgettable

8 people found this helpful

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  • Alexander Andro
  • 2017-12-17

flat arc characters

If all the books on screenwriting and writing in general that I have read, this is the only book that covers flat arc characters. worth reading for that alone.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2017-09-14

Overly formulaic

While there were some good ideas and some good advice in this book, the points that were made and many of the examples seemed contrived.

7 people found this helpful