Create Engaging Characters

To understand the five basic character arcs you should first read The Five Components of All Character Arcs.

There are many ways in which character arcs may vary, but if you are able to recognise and implement these five basic versions, you will be able to create engaging characters that will keep your audience interested in their journey from beginning to end.

1 The Constructive Arc

Here the protagonist at first believes the Lie, then they find a way to overcome the Lie and end up find out that the Truth is liberating.

2 The Flat Arc

In this Arc the protagonist starts off believing the truth, they maintain their belief in the Truth and finally use the Truth to overcome the Lie.

The two arcs above are Truth driven and in essence a happy arcs. In these stories, the protagonist either learns or already knows the Truth – and uses it to positively impact the story world. Also known as Heroic arcs, these stories are usually in some way about virtue, morality and justice.

The three arcs below are Lie driven, and the protagonists in fact prove the premise by a negative outcome.

3 The Disillusionment Arc

In the beginning the protagonist believes the Lie. On their journey they are able to overcome the Lie however the Truth turns out to be tragic.

4 The Fall Arc

Here the protagonist believes the Lie and clings to it resolutely, rejecting the Truth and ending up believing an even worse Lie.

5 The Corruption Arc

The protagonist knows what the Truth is but over time they reject it and embrace the Lie.

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