Showing posts with label genre fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label genre fiction. Show all posts

5 Ways to Improve a High Stakes Character Arc

Writing a character arc with a high stakes goal is not for the faint of heart. Pushing characters to act in ways that are hopefully never a part of our own lives or nature takes a steadfast soul, an appetite for excitement and drama, or both.

This is especially the case in genre fiction, where we have characters facing extraterrestrial threats, cutthroat fights for a throne, and lives hanging in the balance as timers count down.

Be they protagonist or antagonist, hero or antihero, giving a character a high stakes goal and throwing a few obstacles in their way isn't enough for a memorable story. Instead, be strategic, intensify the character arc, and a good story will be elevated to greater heights.

Let's explore these strategies as illustrated by the actions of Margaret Beaufort, grandmother to Henry VIII and great-grandmother to Elizabeth I, as fictionalized in The White Queen TV series (based on several of Philippa Gregory's novels).

Before we continue, be warned this post contains significant spoilers for The White Queen and the Season 1 finale of The Spanish Princess, as well as a mild spoiler from Episode 5 of The White Princess.

Worldbuilding Questions and Ideas for Six Planet Types

Worldbuilding is a massive undertaking.

You're responsible for figuring out who and what exists, how days are spent (and how long is a day, anyway?), and what these beings believe about everything from religion to politics to pineapple on pizza to medicine and everything else under the sun(s).

Now imagine doing that for an entire planet.

Yeah. My head just exploded, too.

Looking at some of my favourite fictional universes, and a few others along the way, it feels like one of the best ways to keep things more manageable (and less "the Big Bang is throbbing inside my head") is to break things down. One step at a time.

The Writing Secrets Hidden Within Mass Effect

One of my favourite science fiction stories of all time is not a book or a movie or a TV show. It’s a video game trilogy by the name of Mass Effect. This is a series that’s incredibly fun to play not just because of the game mechanics, but because the characters feel like real people and the universe feels rich and diverse. As a writer, playing (and replaying) this game holds even more appeal: as I navigated the Normandy amongst the stars, I was unlocking valuable lessons about fiction writing.