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The Character Arc Series | Act 2

Hello everyone, I decided to start a series where we observe how to create an effective character arc. Because if characters make stories, your characters must be developed enough to carry them. That's why it is imperative you create a character sheet before an arc. Once you have done that, come back to this post. Then I will guide you the rest of the way.

Arguably the most important part of the arc, Act 2 is where your character leaves behind their fatal flaw. (Truth the character holds dear even if it is not true or hurts them, it is a part of who they are. It is also where your characters responds based on events in Act 1. It is the largest part of the story. Finally, Act 2 is where your character arc climax occurs. (Reference yesterday’s post.)

What Must Occur for your Act 2 Arc to be Effective

  • Give your character the resources and opportunities they need to reach the climax of their arc. Being the event that pushes them to change.

  • As for your writing be sure to show, not tell. (Reference earlier post.)

  • Include conflicts with every progress point on your character. Especially as it pertains to monumental acts such as Act 2. (I’m not exaggerating, it's as important as good characters.)

  • The character must fail before they can succeed.

  • The character had internal conflicts with their original beliefs and behaviors and what they must do to change.

  • Have the character be distracted by their wants or even vices rather then their needs or what they need to do to achieve them.

  • Show your character what it is like to live without their prior beliefs, especially with their fatal flaw.

  • Figure out what minor characters you should include for the protagonist’s journey.

  • Make your character question themselves and have internal conflict when their strategies for change do not work out.

  • Determine if your character's fatal flaw is something that will break them before they are inclined to change.

Look for Part 2 | Your Protagonist’s Fatal Flaw tomorrow! Till next time…

- Matt Gorrell (creator of


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