You can thank my sister for that featured image. I asked her to take some photos and next thing you know, she’s telling me “put your hand out like you’re saying, you can’t look at this.” XD Thank you for that photoshoot sis!
Anyway, there is a time in every writer’s life where they start to outline their novels. And their characters. That time brings a fabulous method of outlining that cause writer’s countless hours of grief. It’s the dreaded Character Arcs.
Well, for some people it might be their favourite part of outlining, and while I’m a sucker for characters, I just can’t shake the hatred of Character Arcs. I get what I’m doing- most of the time- I just really enjoy it. But I can’t go over it or under it, so I just have to go through it.
Thankfully for you, since you will probably be putting up with some complaining I skipped the snippets. For the most part. >:)
Songs listened to: My playlist
So I started working my Character Arcs by digging through some old archives. (Shadows notes) Once I had figured out my plan of action, I started to craft together a To-Do list of everything I had to do. I’m aiming to finish up all the character stuff before the beginning of December.
I’m not crazy I promise
I pulled up the Character Arc advice from K.M. Wieland to guide me on my expedition, I pulled out a fresh notebook and got to work.
After floundering around in the mess I had created, I decided to call it quits. I’m not one to give up too easily but I was tired and annoyed. On the brighter side, I had discovered Matthew Parker’s new album on YouTube and that helped my motivation.
Songs listened to: Perfect Light by Chris Tomlin ft Crowder
Yes, I listened to Christmas music when Christmas isn’t coming for another 2 months. I decided to take a break from Character Arcs and finished up my outline for the novel. The crumpled paper is a visual of my frustration. But I did make several pages in my notebook collages for the characters. I might do a post on that sometime soon.
I did find a method that would separate my questions from my answers that I found useful. The question was in a different colour than the classic black pen. Plus, my notes finally look interesting and not a swirl of black letters.
So that was the pose I was in for the whole day. I had my headphones on looping Perfect Light and a mess on my bed. I normally have a really clean desk, but when the writing kick hits it looks like a barnyard.
Let’s just pretend that I have amazing posture, not the slump of a monkey. It started to get cold
we live in BC it is always cold so I pulled out my old granny heating blanket. I think at this point I was almost finished my outline. Let me tell you, that sucker took longer than you think.
You’d think 50 something questions wouldn’t take long to answer, but when you have half-developed characters and a very vague outline it takes an eternity. Also, I often got up to stop my legs from cramping up.
But in the end, I had a fairly successful Sunday and I was satisfied with my productiveness. I normally sit around and read or work on my AGSM’s, but I felt like taking the free time by the horns and get something worthwhile done. Low and behold, the outline!
Songs listened to: Mercy by Brent Young, I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe, My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion
It looks like quite the list eh? I found this amazing YouTube channel where this girl sang the songs. She literally is the best singer I have ever heard and you will be amazed. Be sure to check out the songs here: Genavieve Linkowski
I ate my breakfast in my room and finished up a few things I wanted to change on my outline. While writing my outline, I decided to test out my writing with the new plot. I ended up writing about a page or two.
I’ve hurt everyone around me Asher. Chase Pehobe, Brooke… I don’t want to hurt you too.” Micah’s voice trembled and fat tears rolled down her cheeks.
“You won’t hurt me Micah. You never could.” Asher reasurred her, “When I first laid my eyes on you I-”
“You ushed me over and kicked my books out of my reach.” Micah deadpanned looking away from me.
The writing is pretty bad and I’m not terribly proud of it, but I think you get the basic idea. Just to clarify, there are romantic ties between Asher and Micah. I don’t even think it’s a strong enough thing to call a subplot. That was literally all I got around to doing that day.
Songs listened to: Confidence by Sanctus Real, Fight Song by Racheal Platten
I didn’t do a whole lot of writing that day either, but every Wednesday I work on my novel. It never fails. I’ve been doing it for about a year now.
This time I worked on the Character Arc for Micah. (I’m still working on her) She has a fairly confusing Character Arc because of the Lie and Ghost. The Ghost is fairly straight-forward as I have most of the backstory figured out. But the Lie is always giving me grief.
What is she believing in her life that impacts her worldview? I thought I had the answer all figured out, but apparently not. My answer was going to be, Chase. But that is not specific at all and it’ll probably lead to a weak Character Arc. So I elaborated on that answer.
Micah is afraid of forgetting Chase. She believes that if she forgets about him for a single waking second than he’ll be gone forever. She goes around Gastown thinking about Chase.
But then I thought, won’t that be harder to write. If she is so focused on Chase what will happen to the friends that she makes at the beginning? What if I make Micah close them out until the Turning Point when she has more of a hold on her Lie? I’m still unsure about what I should do.
Songs listened to: Half of the new album by Matthew Parker
I continued to work through the haze of Character Arcs. When I’m listening to new songs I tend to tune out on my work to listen to music. While listening to the new songs, I doodled on the edge of my paper.
I’m the not most artistic person so you’ll have to deal with stick figures. I didn’t write any more side scenes, but I did have some ideas that I could weave in the plot. You should see my To-Do list.
And this was the point when I hit a pothole. I like to multitask so that means working on several noveling stuff at the same time. I was thinking about Brooke. The happy cheerful redheaded girl.
She is nothing like Asher and Micah and I was doubting the need to keep her. I wanted there to be someone who could tell Micah the Truth. So that was what I wanted her for. But why would Micah trust someone whom she doesn’t even know? She has issues trusting Asher, and they are practically best friends. Micah skips school and skateboards with Asher. So where do I tie in Brooke? I was thinking of cutting her completely, but then part of my climax is messed up.
But then I thought, what if she was a family friend who brings out the girl in Micah? Then she isn’t completely involved in the plot, but still to the point where she is important. So I’m torn between the two. Updates on that soon.
Songs listened to: Everything and More by Hollyn ft Aaron Cole, Scars by TobyMac, God Only Knows by for King and Country
I did do little things throughout the week, but nothing too major. Then came the wonderful weekend. I woke up bright and early at 8:30, ready to seize the day. After completing some blog stuff, I got to work.
I got most of Micah’s character Arc done, but not enough to satisfy me. I made a goal on MyWriteClub to finish reading through the posts and finished her Arc before November 17. I think I can do it.
Again with my terrible posture. But who do I care?
My sister was walking by and I asked her to take a few pictures on me for my blog. The quick few photos turned into a whole photoshoot.
But seriously, if you ever need advice or help with writing, check out K.M. Weiland’s blog, Helping Writers Become Authors. The posts are super helpful and informative. You can check out my review of one of her books here.
What I can I take away from this experience?:
It’s okay to write ahead- I was unsure when writing little snippets without even having a proper plotline yet. But I found it very helpful and will definitely do it again in the future.
Enjoy the snippets >:)
When in doubt with a character, go ahead and use them- If it doesn’t work out in the end, you’ll just have to kill them. *Weeps*
Make time for impromptu photoshoots- If I have time for a few photos, it’s gonna look better if I call the
That is my Character Arc adventures so far. I still have 2 or 3 more.
If you have any blog post request, comment down below. Also, tell me about your current writing project. What was the hardest part for you? I’d love to chat!