If my main character has a FLAT ARC..

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Post by Guest »

Help me guys! If my main character has a FLAT ARC. Does that mean that she doesn't go through inner change throughout the novel?

Post by Rebekah »

A flat arc is perfectly fine. James Bond is one character with a flat arc. It doesn't mean he's boring, or doesn't experience anything. It just means he's roughly the same person at the end as he was in the beginning.

Post by Lisa »

I usually take it to mean “two dimensional” in that they lack depth and facets.
Mark \

Post by Mark \ »

Did someone described your character as flat? If they did, they should tell you why they appear flat.

Post by Charley »

It depends on what you're trying to achieve.

Snow White has just about the flattest arc in all of Western lit; the character who's really going through changes is the Queen.

I always rely on Flannery O'Connors' idea that in every story the protagonist reaches a moment where they must make a decision. If the decision is the right one it's a "comedy" (in the classic definition of the word: a story with a happy ending); if its the wrong choice it's a "tragedy" (i.e. unhappy ending). See all of film noir. O'Connor's view was that whichever character in the story is faced with such a dilemma is by definition the protagonist.

Except for Snow White. I.e. there are no rules. If you can make it work, make it work.

Post by Ben »

Most of the time when I hear about a character being flat it's normally in line with their character and not so much how they change. If someone does not have enough we know about them to care, any change will feel pretty useless as we were working with a blank canvas. Yes, it is good to see Jack Sparrow take down Barbossa and save Will but it would mean nothing if he was just a blank slate at the start with no redeeming qualities demonstrated through his choice of action and reaction.

Post by Cecille »

In a novel I believe the main character should change and learn something previously not acknowledged or revealed to them and they should change either they become more resolute in their attitudes or they have a rethink and make other plans once the moment of truth comes to them. It could be a surprise even a happy accident the unveiling of a secret of a disillusionment but if your character remains static it will be a boring plot and not engage your reader. However the bad guy might change a little over time but mainly remain in character. Supporting characters like a loyal brother might also not be so loyal when bad things happen. Know your characters their weaknesses and strengths but most writers keep them human and relatable.

Post by Clara »

If that's a comment you got from someone you should ask them what they mean. It could be the character doesn't change and has no inner growth. It could be the character is one note, with only one or two character traits (like Dora The Explorer). It could be the character has too many character traits and seems to adapt too easily to everything and have no inner consistency (the bad YA protagonist). It could be they are a blank slate people can project their thoughts onto (like Harry Potter, he's super flat in the book and is still a really good character).

You need to check with the person who made the comment.
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