How to Craft Negative Character Arcs For Your Novel


A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I wrote an article on character arcs.

In that article, I explained the importance of developing character arcs in your stories, established the three arcs found in fiction, and broke down the eleven major beats that comprise the most popular of the three: positive change arcs. I also asked if you’d be interested in similar breakdowns of the remaining two styles, negative change arcs and flat arcs, and your answer was a resounding yes.

Despite this, I found myself caught up in other articles and topics and failed to circle back around — until now, that is. Today, I’m excited to delve into the dark descent of negative change arcs with you all, soon to be followed by an article on flat arcs as well. Have a character for whom a bittersweet or tragic ending is in order? This is the article for you, writer.

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Exploring Genre Conventions & Expectations (a #StorySocial recap)


Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers?
 

Look no further than the #StorySocial chat. I host this hour-long Twitter event every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week, we explored genre conventions and expectations. Missed out? Catch all the highlights from this week’s chat in the recap below!

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Exploring Three Ways to Structure Your Book Series

I’ve always been drawn to book series, both as a reader and a writer.

Perhaps it’s the depth a series can achieve, allowing for rich and expansive storytelling, or simply because I long to spend more time with the characters I love. From a career standpoint, series also offer authors the opportunity to build upon their backlists with related works, encouraging book sales as readers return for more of what captivated them in book one.

Think you may like to write a book series of your own? It’s important to note that not all series are created equal. In fact, there are three distinct ways you can structure a book series, and understanding which structure is right for your stories and career goals is key to setting yourself up for series success. Today, let’s break down these structures together.

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Livening Up One-Dimensional Characters (a #StorySocial recap)


Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers?
 

Look no further than the #StorySocial chat. I host this hour-long Twitter event every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week, we talked about livening up one-dimensional characters. Missed out? Catch all the highlights from this week’s chat in the recap below!

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How Critical Reading Can Improve Your Writing

“If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” 

When I first read Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing, this quote cut me to the bone. I wanted desperately to stake my claim on the title of writer, but I wasn’t doing much to set myself up for success. I wrote here and there and maybe read a book or two, but I felt myself too hindered by all of life’s demands to truly pursue what it took to write a novel.

In truth, I had plenty of time to read, write, and improve my writing skills, but making the time to actively work toward our creative goals is a topic for another day. Today, I want to focus on why it’s so important to read with a critical eye. After all, doing so may just be the key to coming into your own as a writer.

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Exploring Curiosity & The Creative Process (a #StorySocial recap)


Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers?
 

Look no further than the #StorySocial chat. I host this hour-long Twitter event every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week, we explored the relationship between curiosity and the creative process. Missed out? Catch all the highlights from this week’s chat in the recap below!

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How to Work Through Writing Doubts

French author Honore de Balzac once wrote, “When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.”

I find this quote to be incredibly powerful in and of itself because it recognizes a key misstep taken in much of the advice surrounding the phenomenon of self-doubt. Rather than being an obstacle to overcome or an enemy to defeat, doubt is simply the reality of a choice: will I place faith in myself or will I place faith in my fear?

The truly wild reality is that neither of these options is wrong, so long as you’re choosing the best option for you. Like doubt, fear is not the enemy. It’s the reality of risk. But what does this all mean for your writing life? How can you move forward when doubt has kept you trapped in stagnation for days, weeks, months, or even years on end? Read on, writer. We’re about to dig in.

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Building & Maintaining Creative Momentum (a #StorySocial recap)


Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers?
 

Look no further than the #StorySocial chat. I host this hour-long Twitter event every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week, we talked about building and maintaining creative momentum. Missed out? Catch all the highlights from this week’s chat in the recap below!

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Defining Your Unique Writing Style & Voice


Do you know what makes you unique as a writer?

Finding your footing among a sea of storytellers can feel like an impossible task, especially in the early days of your writing journey. Every writer you encounter influences the tide, pulling you this way or that as you seek to better understand your creative identity. If you’ve ever found yourself emulating the style of the most recent book you’ve read, you know exactly what I mean.

Defining your personal writing style and voice can help you grow comfortable and confident in your work. But how do you push back against the growing tide to build that sense of identity and assurance? Grab a cuppa and settle in, writer. It’s time we had a chat!

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Say hello to our new free e-course, Rock Your Writing Practice!

Whether you’ve failed to finish a first draft or forge a writing routine, build a career as an author or find confidence in your skills and stories, there are so few parts of the writing process that come easy. But don’t let that knowledge defeat you! You don’t have to be dissatisfied with your writing life anymore. The creative fulfillment you crave is within your realm of control.

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How to Rediscover Your Love for Writing

Has your writing life dwindled to near non-existence? You aren’t alone, writer.

Making time to write is one thing, but you aren’t simply struggling to juggle your calendar. You seem to have fallen out of love with writing altogether. It’s not that you don’t want to write in a big-picture sense. Sharing your stories with the world has always been a dream of yours. You’ve simply lost all desire to manifest those stories in your everyday writing life.

Is this some sort of writer’s block, then? A failure to overcome procrastination? A sign that writing isn’t right for you? Nonsense. It’s time we had a chat about creative passion, writer — and more importantly, how to rediscover it for yourself.

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Reflecting On Our Year in Writing (a #StorySocial recap)


Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers?
 

Look no further than the #StorySocial chat. I host this hour-long Twitter event every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week, we reflected on our writing lives in 2018 and set intentions for the new year. Missed out? Catch all the highlights from this week’s chat in the recap below!

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How to Hold Yourself Accountable to Your Writing Practice

I’ve often said that consistency is key to writing success.

There are other keys, of course: passion, patience, persistence, a willingness to learn. But when it comes to building a life-long writing habit that brings creative fulfillment, consistency is king. Why, then, does is often prove so difficult to get our butts in our chairs and our fingers on the keys?

Today, let’s talk about the phenomenon of resistance and how we can leverage our unique personalities and processes to overcome it!

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Ironing Out The Bumps in Your Creative Process (a #StorySocial recap)


Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers?
 

Look no further than the #StorySocial chat. I host this hour-long Twitter event every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week, we talked about how to iron out the bumps in our creative processes. Missed out? Catch all the highlights from this week’s chat in the recap below!

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Do You Know What Drives Your Story’s Narrative?

At the heart of every good story is an arc, a series of related events that compels the reader to engage with the narrative.

Sometimes, that arc is one of external thrills and escapades. Will they catch the killer? Will she break the curse? Other times, that arc is one of inner turmoil or transformation. Will his pride lead to eventual downfall? Will she find it in her heart to forgive? Certainly, both types of arcs can be present in a story. But ultimately, only one can serve as the driving force behind its narrative.

As writers, why is it important to understand which arc lies at the heart of our stories? Let’s examine the difference between plot-driven and character-driven narratives today on the blog.

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How to Balance Subplots & Multiple Storylines (a #StorySocial recap)

Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers? 

Look no further than the #StorySocial chat. I host this hour-long Twitter event every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week, we talked about balance subplots and/or multiple storylines with the main arcs of our stories’ plots. Missed out? Catch all the highlights from this week’s chat in the recap below!

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Can a Drafting Cycle Help You Juggle Multiple Manuscripts?

Have a million amazing story ideas swimming around in that head of yours?

You may not be able to write them all at once, but you can speed up the process of bringing them to life. By utilizing a drafting cycle, you can juggle work on multiple projects without feeling overwhelmed, unfocused, or unproductive. This technique won’t be the right one for every writer, but if you often struggle to finish projects because others get in the way, it may be time to give a drafting cycle a try.

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How to Write Epic Action Scenes (a #StorySocial recap)


Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers?
 

Look no further than the #StorySocial chat. I host this hour-long Twitter event every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week, we discussed how we can write epic action scenes. Missed out? Catch all the highlights from this week’s chat in the recap below!

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How to Maximize Your Writing Time Like a Pro

Frustrated with your productivity as a writer?

Whether you’re struggling to find the time to write or failing to utilize the time you already have, today I’m going to share a few tips to help you level up the hours you spend creating. I won’t say these tips are universal, but I do think you’ll find them helpful. So whether you’re a newbie, an established writer, or a published author, let’s talk about maximizing the time we have to bring our stories to life!

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Can Happy Scenes Kill Our Stories' Tension? (a #StorySocial recap)

Are you looking to spend dedicated time each week engaging with an awesome group of fellow writers? 

Look no further than the #StorySocial chat. I host this hour-long Twitter event every Wednesday at 9pm Eastern with writers from around the world, and it's an absolute blast. This week, we discussed whether happy scenes can kill our stories’ tension. Missed out? Catch all the highlights from this week’s chat in the recap below!

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