Character Arcs – Learning Craft

Craft wasn’t something I ever paid attention to when I first started writing. I never read any books and I never took any classes. Writing was always instinctive for me. And that type of approach certainly worked for 20 years – it was that experience that got me an editor letter from the Instant Seduction contest in the first place. Te thing with instinct is that it only gets you so far. It might even get you a sale. But if you want to repeat that sale, again and again, then really you have to know what you’re doing. You have to learn your craft.

Character arcs, internal conflict, action/reaction, all that kind of thing were just gobbledy gook when I first started submitting. I thought I didn’t really need to know. Not because I thought I knew it already, I just thought that my instinct would naturally put them in my writing. Not so. It seems that you need more than instinct. Funny that!

Anyway, about six months ago the light finally broke that if I wanted to get any farther with this writing thing, I would need to actually start knuckling down and learning the nuts and bolts of putting a story together. So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past six months, really paying attention to all the stuff I should have paid attention to a year and a half ago. And man has it been a learning experience. For me, it’s all been about the character. Modern Heat is a character driven line – I think most categories are though some more than others – so getting to know your character is vital to crafting a good story. And you need more than just having your character overcome their conflict and fall in love, you actually have to have your character be changed by it. They can’t be the same person they were when they started.

Ah, I reckon it’s true what they say, the more you know, the harder it gets. I long for the days when I just wrote what I wanted and didn’t care about the conflict or whether the character learns anything, or what their growth points were. I just want