Revising Character Arcs in Your Novel Posted on May 29, 2019May 29, 2019 by Hans Swaniawski by Hans Swaniawski Post navigation I LOVE Pantsing (Novels)ABP News pays tribute to lyricist Shailendra on his birth anniversary 23 thoughts on “Revising Character Arcs in Your Novel” Halfway through my book I realized my antagonist was really a red herring for the real antagonist. I finished the book in that way, but had to rehaul the first half completely. Ugh. Reply This is the only video I’ve watched by you that’s about something I actually feel like I have a decent grasp on. This is the only thing I’m good at? Damn it. Reply Setting is like a four-dimensional character. Reply OMG it's so true and obvious when writers don't bother to do this properly. I am personally getting good mileage out of Dan Harmon's Plot Embryo technique for ensuring my characters actually have arcs to start with – revising them for any good reason is indeed daunting but worthwhile. Do it! #committed Reply Great video with great tips! Reply Such useful tips as always! I’ll be sure to check/ revise my character’s ARC now that I’m diving in the second draft 😀 Reply Great video! I did tons of work on my character arcs recently so that they will all be stronger as I go through the 2nd draft of my novel. Wouldn't be surprised if they needed strengthening again in the 3rd draft, though! Reply This is exactly what's going on with my book right now 😂 One character arc revision has led to a second character arc revision and a second POV. Reply Thank-you for this video Alexa! I'm not near revising with either of my WIPs, but I have thought as I've been writing that I may need to beef up the arc in the revisions. This is great advice. I can see how it would be a lot of work, but it's exciting to hear about how opening it can be for the story. Hayley ^_^ Reply I love your videos but this one really struck me. This is a specific topic that I don't see touched on enough. I'll be doing some revising tonight with your advice in mind. Thank you. Reply I just started revising so this video spoke to me! Reply I really like your videos. They are so helpful (and came at the right time, because I just wanted to change the behaviour of one of my characters)I also wanted to tell you: I'm just reading brightly burning and I think it is awesome so far Reply Thank you so much for talking about this! I feel like I often write stories before I write the characters. Then revision is liking unraveling a tapestry. Reply I'm going through this for a few of my characters right now, and while it's totally making my book better it's also SO HARD. It's nice to listen to your advice, though, because it helps me know that I'm doing the right thing, lol! Reply Ugh this video has come at the PERFECT time! I've been tweaking the first five chapters of my wip for forever, not quite able to work out why it wasn't working. I realised during a particularly bad night of insomnia that some of the main characters have zero agency or agenda in the beginning. I don't think it's any coincidence that these are the characters I haven't don't backstories for. So I've been back at the drawing board over the weekend, writing those backstories and filling character plot holes and now I'm going back over those first chapters, amending as needed and I'm SO MUCH HAPPIER with it! I had one character I didn't know what to do with but while listening to this I realised I might need to cut them from the opening scenes and bring them in later. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing these videos, they really do help with the writing process, and I don't feel quite so alone. Reply Excellent video. You cut right to the heart of it. I've seldom been consciously aware of the formula you've laid out so clearly here, but looking back on my own work, it really brings everything into sharp relief. It's amazing how much a story can change from those initial first drafts, just by adjusting a character's motives and endgame. Really enjoy your videos, and can't wait to check out your books. Reply I personally found this video very helpful, because I’m going through a similar thing right now, with the antagonist in one of my novels. Aside from that, I also think that this video topic is a very interesting look into revisions. Keep up the good work, Alexa! (As a fellow writer, I’ve found a lot of your videos to be very helpful and informative. I absolutely love your channel). Reply I live for your videos, you're so informative! Yes, please keep doing revision and writing craft videos, it really helps and motivates aspiring writers like myself. ❤ Reply A couple of weeks ago I realized my protagonist didn't have an arc for book 1, even though I had/still have one for the series itself. Yesterday I started getting close to discovering that arc, but after watching your video I see just how much more work I need to do. But now I have a better idea for how to do it, Reply There’s more arcs in here than a geometry textbook. Reply I’m actually in the middle of plotting out my third draft to restructure my main character’s arc by adding in someone who will better kick start his journey so this is perfect 🙌🏻 Reply Love this video!! I'm going through this process right now. I've used a couple of books that are absolute game-changers for me. "The Plot Whisperer" by Martha Alderson (the best plotting book ever – character arc being one of the elements you plot), and "The Emotional Craft of Fiction" by Donald Maass. I hope you make more revision videos! Thanks! 🙂 Reply I'm doing some pretty intense revision work myself. Only for me, I'm changing setting and action in this current chapter that I'm working on. Thanks for making this video! 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