The rule is that your hero must have a character arc. So when is it all right to break the rule? Alida, Robert and Kathryn discuss the merits and pitfalls of writing a hero without a character arc. It has been done to great success, so why do so few people suggest it’s even possible to write an arcless protagonist? And when is killing your hero “justifiable homicide in self defense?”

VIDEO

 

AUDIO

 

SHOW NOTES

 

Is it even possible to have an arcless protagonist? What is an arcless protagonist? After diving into some famous and beloved arcless protagonists, we dive into how to make it work. How can you use your secondary characters to create emotional resonance? And how can you keep that emotional buy in through a series? Do you need the same supporting characters around your arcless protagonist? And what are some of the drawbacks to using one? Just remember: an arcless protagonist is the exception, not the rule!

What we talked about:

What is an arcless protagonist? (4:00)

What are the advantages of writing an arcless protagonist? (9:05)

If your protagonist is arcless, what about your secondary characters? (12:48)

How does an arcless protagonist effect your emotional resonance with the reader? (15:38)

How can you use secondary characters arcs to gain that emotional resonance? (16:25)

Can you vary the secondary characters and use different supporting characters to create that depth from book to book? (17:24)

What are some drawbacks to the arcless protagonist? (20:20)

What about a middle ground character arc? (26:40)

The importance of an on-going character readers are emotionally attached to in a series. (29:25)

So must there be a character arc in every book? (30:47)

LINKS

 

Things we mentioned:

Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Jack Reacher books by Lee Child
James Bond by Ian Fleming
Miss Marple books by Agatha Christie
Book Architecture Method by Stuart Horwitz
Murder She Wrote
Sherlock series on BBC
The Dark Knight 
Star Wars: A New Hope
Bosch

Want more about these topics? Check out:

SWRT 004 Mystery Characters

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