Character Arc

Fatal Flaw

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Well-rounded characters will have a variety of positive and negative traits that, along with their beliefs, attitudes, morals, and behaviors, make them who they are. Unless your character is a minor one, they will likely have an arc: a mission in the story that involves achieving a goal. If your character is important, they are likely on a change or failed arc, meaning their personality, behavior, and ability to grow will have everything to do with whether they succeed or not.

Whatever the character’s goal, the story path should never lead straight to it. External conflict should cause problems along the way: enemies to best, challenges to face, obstacles to circumvent. This forces the character to work harder for what they want. But the inner conflict, the tug-o-war within the character—that’s where the real journey unfolds.

If you’ve done your planning right, you’ve created a character who is unsuitable for the goal, and only through growth and change can they become someone strong enough to attain their prize. Not only that, they have a specific hurdle to overcome: their fatal flaw.


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