How to write a character arc

  1. How do you write a character arc with the 12 archetypes? (Please I will appreciate an exhibit. )
  2. If you were to write a story with a positive or negative arc structure how do the 16 motivation feature in? (Please I will appreciate an exhibit. )

Hi @Will welcome!

It sounds like you’re conflating the OS throughline with the MC. From a Dramatica perspective, archetypes and character elements belong to the Overall (Objective) Story characters. Character arc is seen in the Main Character throughline – the MC will either be influenced by the perspective of the Influence Character to change, or they will remain Steadfast (and the IC will change).

For example, in Star Wars, in the OS throughline, Luke plays the role of Protagonist (Pursue and Consider).

For his character arc change though, (MC throughline) we see him go from Test to Trust.

Dramatica doesn’t use those terms … from a Dramatica perspective, positive and negative arcs are best approximated in the combination of Story Outcome (was the story Goal achieved?) and Judgement (is the MC in a Good or Bad place at the end)?

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I APPRECIATE THE URGENT REPLY. THANKS A LOT.
BUT NOW THAT YOU UNDERSTAND ME, I AM NEW HERE IN DRAMATICA AND QUITE A NOVICE WRITER.

Please, using the DRAMATICA ‘jargons’ give me a clear demonstration of character arc.
How do these other characters relate to influence the change in our protagonist.

Please take it step by step, my goal is not head-knowledge but understanding. Thanks.

What users of the Dramatica theory and software have come to terms with is the fact that few stories have the characters as pure archetypes. As one writes, one’s brain combines like water flows, combining in rivets, separating, then coming together again. That is why it is good to write, then analyze, then put aside, then write more, then analyze, etc. When one is looking at the desired storyform, one mulls over the characters. It works well to just pick a few items to emphasize in scenes, a few storypoints and a few character aspects (you choose what you would have fun writing about).

The Dramatica.com has fantastic reads with the QnA, Analysis and Theory links at the top of the webpage. You can start with reading about the films you enjoyed in past viewings. The filter option lets one see how certain storyforming choices played out among different types of movies, quite fascinating. I remember reading the theory book over and over. Whatever grabs you, just bounce from there.

Did you find Dramatica through KM Weiland? I have heard her use the terms positive and negative arc but I don’t actually know what they mean. You will have to explain.

The archetypes do not go through arcs. They remain constant through the story.

The arc happens with the Main Character or the Impact Character. (Though I’m not sure how we talk about the Impact Character Arc to be honest. It might not be called an arc.)

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I don’t know @MWollaeger I think Fiona from Shrek definitely had an arc.

That was really more of a statement about “Since everything is from the MC perspective, do we say that the IC had an arc, or is there some other term for it?”

Opps. My misunderstanding of what you meant. I guess my vote is for it to still be called an arc.

Yeah, mine too, but I could see why we’d want to frame it differently.