The Character Arc Series | Act 3 | The finale
Hello everyone, today we will be looking at the final, action-packed Act 3. If you enjoy action-packed novels or thrillers, you will be most excited to learn how to write your arc concerning this act. Of course, what is action in a story without character development? Seeing that this act is also the final phase of your character arc, events that cause your character to complete their arc are necessary.
It is also imperative to keep in mind your character must also finally reach their pinch point. (The event that sparks the change that completes your character’s arc.) This pinch point is more than just another event that tries the character. It makes them question their belief system. Instead of falling back on their fatal flaw or misbelief. (What the character originally thinks will better their lives.)
The realization and dismissal of both their fatal flaw and misbelief are what pushes Act 3 forward. Now your character must deal with the implications of this realization and have an internal conflict, despite fully realizing the truth. Oftentimes, this truth breaks the character before they can re-build. So make this truth something personal that is related to the character arc thus far. It should also be correlated to their prior misbelief and fatal flaw that they may be still still holding onto.
Act 3 is also very important due to the fact your character may not realize it, but they have come a long way. This progression must be shown before act 3 with the most evident (even if their progress is not apparent to them) progression being demonstrated in the conclusion to your story. That being said, you can demonstrate this change through more subtle acts. Such as a character who was greedy giving money to a homeless man. Or a character doing simple acts of kindness they would have never dreamed of doing before their arc.
The next part of this may feel like a betrayal to your character, but it is commonplace in novel writing. Before your character can fully accept the new person they have become or the truth, they must first have a conflict with this. This conflict can come in many forms, but I have found that showing a character's personality through their actions is best for me. You can even go as far as having them doubt their new lives entirely. However, you must eventually have them come to accept it.
I hope this series has been helpful and am looking to work on another while working on Wounds for the Innocent. So if you have any ideas or input you wanna give, please do so. That way we can grow together and I can learn from you as much as you learn from me. This is my vision for this writing community, but I cannot achieve it without YOU. So feel free to share any of my series of blog posts so we can grow this community ten-fold.
Till next time.
- Matt Gorrell (creator of mattgorrell.com)