Releasing your inner dragon

Writing Transformative Character Arcs: From Zero to Hero and Beyond

March 14, 2024 Marie Mullany & Maxwell Alexander Drake Season 4 Episode 9
Writing Transformative Character Arcs: From Zero to Hero and Beyond
Releasing your inner dragon
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Releasing your inner dragon
Writing Transformative Character Arcs: From Zero to Hero and Beyond
Mar 14, 2024 Season 4 Episode 9
Marie Mullany & Maxwell Alexander Drake

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Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Join Drake and Marie to discuss writing stronger stories with great character arcs!

Writer's room (50% off for lifetime membership):

Membership for Just In Time Worlds:

Give us feedback at releasingyourinnerdragon(at)gmail(dot)com


Drake's Contact Details:
Starving Writer Studio:
Drake-U:  - Use RYID25 for 25% off!
Writer's Room:

Marie's contact details:
Just In Time Worlds:

When you're doing a tragedy and you're showing how people fall, you must commit to it. You know, the problem with saving the kids in the American version of the Pied Piper is you then kind of you're kind of saying you can always fix it, which I mean, yes, sure, you can always try.

But the example that I like to use is take a plate like your favorite plate in the world and throw it on the ground. Did it break? Yeah. Okay, now tell the plate that you're sorry. Did it fix itself. If the answer is no, there are things that can't be fixed.

Releasing your inner dragon.

So, Drake, today we want to talk about character arcs. What do you think a story is without character arcs?

Literary fiction.

I'm sorry. I don't know where that came from, but I couldn't resist that once it popped into my head. The truth slips out. I mean, Yeah, Yeah. I mean, it's.

Not a story. It's just not. I mean. Well, it's not okay.

And maybe that is serious.

I was joking about that, but so literary fiction is experimental storytelling. So like, there was one a couple of years ago that we were in a bookstore and my wife brought it over because she was so stunned that it had won the the Pulitzer Prize or whatever the big literary award is. Is it the Pulitzer Prize?

No, that's a journalist award. Yeah.

What? Whatever.

I don’t know, there's a couple.

Of. Right.

Whatever the big one is and the back blurb, you know, the thing that the marketing team puts together to.

Entice you to buy it, that is the sales pitch of the book.

It literally said you will not buy this book for the.

Story, the characters.

Or the plot because it has none of those.

You will buy it strictly for.

The beauty of how it's written, no, not even how it's written.

The beauty of how the sentences are constructed.

And I was like.

No, I will not like.

So it is experimental. I mean, I pick on literary fiction all the time, especially my classes, mostly because I'm just not smart enough to actually write something like that. So it's probably out of jealousy, but still it's experimental a lot of the times in genre fiction, what we talk about, what we do, if you're going to make a living at this genre fiction, it doesn't exist without.

And again, I'm I'm pausing because I'm like, wait a minute, there is a difference. There is one exception to that. Most of it is not going to happen with that character art, because we're going to do an internal story arc. And so for the plot or for the theme to be consumed by the audience, the character has to have an arc.

There is external story arcs. So we go with like.


Of the Flies or V for Vendetta, but there is still a character that's it's just now the.


Character arc. The world has to grow. And that's the reason why they don't sell as much, because they're much more esoteric and harder.

To really understand.

On an individual basis as opposed to, you know.


Struggling to do something

I was going to get is going to go with Luke Skywalker and Star Wars. But we're trying to avoid that in today's podcast.

That's why I was so.

Frodo, Frodo in and Lord of the Rings has got a character arc. He starts out as like, I'm a tiny hobbit, I can't do it. And and in the end, well, in the end, Sam can do it. But you know, he does he does get there to a certain extent.


But, you know, I mean, there have been I agree with you on that. I don't think that you can write a fantasy story and have no character arcs. I think that your audience is expecting to see character growth, even if it is as simple as the farm boy who knows nothing grows into the competent leader warrior. My age, whatever is growing into.

100%, you know, what am I to do, do you think?

Yeah. What if you have a story without a character arc?

No. No, I don't. Well, I suppose you could if you were writing it with the external arc. Right. So. But if you writing it with an external arc man, you need a, you need a strong central theme and every single character is on one side or the other side of that theme.

Yeah, I mean.

A lot of people get really confused on external character arcs because your main characters aren't actually characters. That's why they don't have arcs. They're allegories, they're allegories for one side of the theme or the other. So that's that's why we don't we don't relate to them as is audience members. Good. It's like, What do you mean? He is he literally is rigid because he's an idea.

Like people aren't ideas and like, well, actually kind of in this type of story they're.


An allegory. So yeah, that's so when you take V for Vendetta, it's the same thing. You know, V is not a character. He's an allegory for it is better to give up safety for freedom, like that's what he is and he can't change because it'll ruin the story.

So yeah, it's those are tougher.

Yeah, but if you're writing an internal arc, which, which is what most of us are doing.

There's one other way it just boggles my mind.


Peripheral. NARRATOR Now, the footprint area should grow because that's the so like in The Great Gatsby, Nick Carraway is not the protagonist.

You know, Gatsby's.


But Nick Carraway grows.

He does learn through that, you know, exchange. So he absolutely has a character arc, but I can see.


Situation where you could maybe be successful, where the peripheral narrator connects to the reader and they become like this surrogate for they're watching this thing of this growth. But, you know, most of the surrounding Sherlock Holmes is a peripheral narrator In Watson, but Watson grows.


You know, same thing with Nick Carraway in Great Gatsby, whatever.

So I can see maybe how you can pull it off.

If your protagonist is not going to grow, then I think you must have a peripheral narrative.

I mean, that's the whole reason for Sherlock Holmes and The Great Gatsby being that way.

Yeah, but I think that we should also talk about the types of character arcs that you can have because it doesn't all have to be sunshine and roses.

Actually, I was going.

Before that because that's a part of this. I was going to ask you, So what is the definition of a character arc? Is that a lead to.


The different types.

So a character arc is the growth a character undergoes and understand that. I'm not saying here that it's the character learns how to throw fireballs. Yeah, skill can be part of the character arc, especially if you're talking about somebody who's whose growth arc is about them being unsure of themselves because they're low skilled, they learn a skill and that gives them confidence in themselves.

That's fine then skill is part of it, but it is not the actual arc. The arc is the process of overcoming their flaw, their emotional impediment or giving in to it. Right? So every character should have a flaw. It doesn't have to be a fatal flaw necessarily, although the Greeks had a good thing going with fatal flaws. But they have to have a flaw that is impacting them and putting them on the wrong side of the theme.

Their growth arc is coming out of them.

It's interesting you said that because I never thought about it that way. I mean, to me, it's all it's just called the fatal flaw, because that's what it is. But you're right. Some of my fatal flaws, they're definitely not fatal. But I just you know, when when I say you give a character fatal flaw, I never thought about the fact that maybe I was.

I was painting a picture bigger than what needs to happen. So that's an interesting way to look at, or at least a define fatal flaw that it doesn't necessarily mean they're going to die because they are have this stupid thing like Marlin in Finding Nemo. His fatal flaw is he's an overprotective parent and it is fatal because it gets his child kidnaped.

Like that's horrible.

Because you were a certain way and you couldn't get over that. Now your child is kidnaped.

So it's it's a really bad flaw. But so so the Greeks, with their fatal flaws. Look, the Greeks were obsessed with writing tragedies. If you read the Greek stories, they're all tragedy, tragedy, tragedy. And it's always a tragedy because of a fatal flaw that the hero has. And he can't overcome it. And that turns it into a tragedy like so.

I don't like to use the words fatal flaw, because to me, it ties back to, you know, Oedipus and Jason and Odysseus and Hercules and every single Greek hero that ended up in a really, really bad situation because, you know, this is just what happens to Greek heroes.

Yeah. Like I said.

That's why when you said that, I was like, That's interesting. Maybe people are getting the wrong impression, because I just I've always just used the term. Well, your character has to have a fatal flaw. And what I mean, what I mean by that, and I think what you mean by that is just they have to have something that's going to cause them grief as the story goes on that is tied thematically into the theme that you're pushing, because that's how everything's going to kind of be driven through the story.

So that's really what I mean by Fatal Flaw.

Yes. So that I have to have a thematic flaw, a flaw that is related to the theme or to their theme

and that overcoming that flaw, is there positive growth arc if they don't overcome it, if they succumb to the flawed, they have a negative growth arc a character that doesn't not necessarily doesn't have flaws, but doesn't change, doesn't either overcome or go down.

It's got a flat arc and there is a good reason to include flat arc characters, because if every character has growth, then you're going to ask too much of the reader, right? And your student, your story is going to lose impact because it's going to be diluted over too many characters, right?

So you kind of glossed over them. So I do want to kind of at least hammer on those. So you went through them all. There are basically three types of character arcs. I mean, there's different ways to look at it depending on who you want to study or whatever. But like you said, there's positive story arcs, which means we're going to and.

Really all of.

These are tied into the theme. Everything about a character are to, me and marie are tied into the theme.

That's that's how.

We deliver our theme is through the character.


So if it's a positive story arc, then they're going to start on the wrong side of nine. And through trials and tribulations, the story is going to slap in the face constantly and say, Hey, look, if you just would change. And then at the end they're going to make the change to the correct side of the theme and good things are going to happen to them.

It's going to be a positive story. It's a feel good story. You know, you're excited that they that they did what they did and it makes you feel good. You get to feel goods at the end of the story. A negative story arc is usually a tragedy. I mean, there might be some other ways, but I was going to go with that one easy thing and just call it a tragedy and it's where the character starts on the wrong side of the theme.

The story's going to show them and the reader that they're on the wrong side of theme and all their troubles are because of that, but because they never move. The only way for the reader to consume that their side is.

Bad is to have.

Horrible things happen to that character. So it's going to be a you know, it's going to end in a negative way.

You could even you could go further. You could put the character on the right side of the theme at the start of the story and have them literally fall straight past the theme, which would really like it could make it a very interesting tragedy. If you think of like the great Shakespearean tragedies, some of the characters actually start on their right side.

Yeah. And then fall into the wrong side.


So that's basically that. And then the flat arc, just like you said, it just means that the character doesn't really have any growth through it. So we already talked about external story arcs where your characters are actually just allegory. So obviously they were going to have flat stories. The world is going to have an arc, the world is going to grow, it's going to start on the wrong side, almost always.

So in both Lord of the Flies and in V for Vendetta, the two examples I use, they both start on the wrong side of the theme. You know, V for Vendetta starts in a world that has already given up freedom for safety and in Lord of Lies, it's already started off with all the kids are just kind of good and playing around and having a good time and, you know, getting along.

And we're going to prove that all humans are born evil. So, you know, and again, you don't to agree with the theme. It's just that's what the story does, You know, that's what it plays with in its messaging. So, yeah. And so we had some examples that we kind of skipped over. And I think it's important to come up with those.

So like a positive, we already kind of talked about the Marlin story arc from Finding Nemo. That's a positive in its feel goods. We talked about several of the negatives already, but the one we actually came up with for the podcast that I really liked was Walter White. You know, his fatal flaw is he's not going to take anything off anybody.

He's done like the World has his, you know, pooped on me and I'm just done. I'm not going to. And it literally kills him.

Like he just refuses he refuses to.

Give up the fact that he is just an arrogant, pigheaded, stubborn. You know, S.O.B., this is not going to take anything off anybody because it's.

He deserves it. I deserve better.

I mean it like they did such a great job with that, too, because there was times which like like the the story would literally say another character.

Be like you have five pallets of cash sitting in a warehouse. Like, how much more do you want? You know, there's they're all 100 bills. There's there's $3 million there. So and he's like, doesn't matter, not enough. And so there's that. And then he.

Literally, literally ends himself in it, you know, ends up in tragedy.

Because he will not give it up.

Even it doesn't matter how successful he.


And I mean, that's a great the manic element for modern times. I mean, how many people just do corporate life or whatever ruin their marriage and their children's lives and their lives and they become alcoholics and, you know, the whole nine yards because they just won't stop being driven. There is no level of success.

That well, my God, this was such a.




That happened.

So the new reacher that's on

Amazon Prime,

the Jack Reacher show.

I don't watch that one, but okay.

Really, really well done.

The actor.

In it.

Is this gorgeous, gorgeous dude ripped.

I can't remember his name, but I fell in love with him as an actor. Not just because he's all hunky, but but he's a really good actor too, in a.

Really crappy big sci fi television.

Show. It was kind of like death race, where basically you just ran across the country killing people in your city and your other people in was and the cars were actually magical and they only ran off of blood. And I think it was like called bloodsport or something like that or blood race or something. So you actually had to murder people and feed it to the cars, which are demonic so that you could keep going.

Very horrible, you know, and which is why I watch it.

I loved every minute of it. It was fantastic. But I really fell in love with him and his actor.

And he's, you know, like a lot of actors, he just.

Struggle, struggle,


And then he gets the.

Reacher role, blows up. It's massively.


Well-Written, well-produced.

Well, everything. He's the.

Perfect role. I mean.

Tom Cruise is a great actor, but Jack Reacher is described as a big buff dude.

And Tom Cruise is he's not a big buff dude.

No, he’s not.

So it was great. I loved all.

The Tom Cruise.

Reacher stuff too.

Because it is, you know, normally in a you know, in a kind of a spy type thing, you don't have to be this massive muscular, you know. CONAN Kind of.


But he really fits the role closer to the books and all this other stuff. And it's fantastic. And then he's doing an interview not too long ago, a couple months ago, and he's like and then I went up to the roof and I hung myself.

Now, this is after he had his role with.

You know, Reacher after he reached it. And, you know, he talked about how, you know, because they were like, why would you do that? I mean, you're you've been struggling for 20 years to get to here and you finally reach it. And he's like, Honestly, because I thought I was doing the world a favor. I thought I was doing my family a favor.

I thought it was, you know, And so but talk about a character arc where, you know, you have this this struggle through this entire thing. And yet still I'm tying it back to the it's a real world version of the Walter White character.


You're just so driven and.

You just can't. So then you.

Said it because we all heard the stories where the musicians or whatever they finally hit massive rock n roll fame and they kill themselves. And you're like, what?

Like I'm scratching out of living just to pay rent. Like, why would you do that? And, you know.

They're so driven they can't live with the success. Yeah, and, and.

Now he's.

Open up about it. Obviously he survived the suicide attempt and he's open up about it. He's a he's now really advocating for mental health and and depression and suicide and all of that. You know, obviously that's why I can tell this story, because he told the story. I wouldn't have known it otherwise. It's not like we're friends or anything.

This is just something I watched him do an interview.


So? So, yeah, I mean, you know, we talk a lot about themes and.

How the.

Only thing for a theme to be impactful is it has to, you know, the person has to be born human. So that story right there struggling for fame, you know, struggling for success, not even fame to struggling for success, to make it in this world. Everyone, it's a tough it's tough world. It's depression and, you know, feeling like a failure and, you know, thoughts of suicide and maybe even, you know, attempted suicide and all that.

These are all human elements. We all can relate to it. We can empathize with it and everything like that. So, you know, you look at Walter White and the Breaking Bad series you like, why.

Would that.

Story be such a success? It's literally about a complete narcissistic.

Jerk who becomes a drug lord and murders people like why it was that because it was filled with.

Human, now the darker elements.

But it's filled.

With these human thematic elements.

That we all go, Yeah, I mean.

Maybe a different morning. I wake up a little bit different. Maybe I go down that path.

So, you know, that's the thing.

Negative arcs, negative growth, art can be very satisfying. But then you have to commit to the tragedy like Macbeth would not have the same somatic impact if they survived and took the throne.

Well, neither would Hamlet.

Neither would Hamlet. Like, you need to commit to the tragedy if you're going to write a negative growth arc.

Yeah, because.

What the audience gets out of.

It because the is.

The bigger problem sorry as well, is if you don't commit to the tragedy, you're literally saying that actually see, actually this is the correct behavior and it is okay to be a narcissistic jerk because you win in the end.


And so it should be a message you want to put into the world, like.

Right. And that's what I'm going to say. The reason why it has to be is because a feel good story, a thematic element where the character moves. It makes the people want to be better because they're like, wow, look at this. A tragedy must be a warning. So it's like the Pied Piper and someone use that as an example.

In class, I always say, you know, everybody knows the story. The Pied Piper, there's a village, it's overrun by rats. A dude shows up with a magic flute and says, I can get rid of the rats if you just pay me X amount of money. And they're like, Great. And he plays his magic flute. He takes the rats, the ocean.

They, you know, he drowns them, he comes back. He's like, Where's my money? And they're like, Yeah, know, you're just when we're doing the flute, we're not going to pay you.

And he was fine. Not a big.

Deal. He plays his magic flute. All the village children follow him down to the ocean and they drown themselves. And every time I say that here in the States, like, you're just like, Yeah, that's the story.

In the States. That's not the story in the States.

But the story is from the story.

Because in the States he.

Plays his magic flute and all the children start falling into the ocean and the villagers.

Go, no, wait, wait, wait, wait. We're sorry, here's your money. And he goes, okay.

So and he takes the money and he leaves.

I'm like, No, no, no. You broke your promise. Your children die. Like, that's the point. You don't whitewash this. So, yeah.

Like when I say it here in the States, they're like.

That's not the story I remember. I'm like, Yeah, that's the original story. That's the European version of the story.

And so I always go to that because that's.

That's what you, you know, that's the point.

The story is and some people get greed out of it. And that's the thing about themes, since you can't say them, it doesn't matter if if you exactly hit the mark. So to me, it's about keeping your promises. But to other people it's like, don't be greedy. Okay, great. Both are great messages. It really doesn't I don't think that the Grimm, the Brothers Grimm, were like, no, don't you dare think it's about this one thing when it's actually about this other.

So I mean, the piper almost fairytales actually come from like, I mean, the Brothers Grimm. What they did was they went around Europe and collected them and wrote them down. Yes. Those fairy tales come from deep, deep roots. Yep. They told tales that have been told around the fire for centuries. And they have multiple messages and they've shifted over the years because that's the nature of these kind of folklore tales.

Yeah, but you are 100% correct. Like

When you're doing a tragedy and you're showing how people fall, you must commit to it. You know, the problem with saving the kids in the American version of the Pied Piper is you then kind of you're kind of saying you can always fix it, which I mean, yes, sure, you can always try.

But the example that I like to use is take a plate like your favorite plate in the world and throw it on the ground. Did it break? Yeah. Okay, now tell the plate that you're sorry. Did it fix itself. If the answer is no, there are things that can't be fixed.

I mean, just to put a nail in this, it literally is that.


When you're telling a story, you can't mention your theme ever. So the only way to get the audience to consume that theme, if it's feel good, it's because the problem happened, because they're on the wrong side and the solution was moving to the right side. And if it's a tragedy, the problem happened because it's on the wrong side and then it ends horribly for them because they never would change or grow or understand the issue.

Because again, as I say, many, many, many times none of this is real. The character doesn't grow. The character doesn't not grow. No one dies, no one gets wins, no one becomes king. The only thing is real is the reader. And so it's about them and how are we going to get them to consume that?

It can also be, as I say, they can start on the wrong side and transition it on the right. So I'm transitioning from yeah, like I'm, I'm reminded again of of Blue Eyed Samurai and this is actually in the back story which you find out through flashback and a couple of other devices. The character at one point was a happy married woman doing woman wife stuff and she was fun.

And then she there was a triggering event and she learned all the wrong lessons and turned into a stone cold killer. In response. And that is a falling arc like you were there, you were a happy person. You were an unhappy person.

Feel like that's also it's.

Been too long, so I can't nail it.

But I feel like that's also the backstory to Kill Bill.

I think it's always possible.

I remember her in.

A wedding dress at at some point in the beginning.

Yeah. So anyway. Yeah.

But yeah, so, So you can definitely do that now, I guess. Other questions about character arc is who, who should get an arc? Because as I said, you don't want to have everybody happy or so. Who do you think should have an arc?

So in my.

Opinion, again, because character arcs to me are completely tied into theme, it's how I deliver my theme. It's all about the theme. Like, that's it, that's the story. I don't want to muddy the waters.

So yeah.

I don't mind my secondary characters growing some. They'll learn a lesson along the way, but only because it's a minor theme that that feeds into the major theme of the character arc. So for me now I have multiple main characters, but for me the main characters are the ones that are going to have the big growth arcs, and my secondary characters will learn a lesson along the way, but really more to teach the the audience something that maybe the main arc doesn't do or something to tell, teach the main arc so that they also learn something.

So and then that's it. I mean, again, it comes down to the storytelling is not real as far as like it's not real world stuff and so you can't go, well, it would happen this way in the real world.

Okay, great. But we're we need them to.

Consume a message that we can't say to them. And so you can't be.

You know, real world.

Because then they you muddy the waters and then they since you've never mentioned it.

They don't know what you're saying.

Yeah. And so that's to me the thing, I mean the main character is going to have the main growth arc. I mean, look at Finding Nemo. Dory doesn't grow in that movie. The the dentist doesn't grow in that movie that the sharks didn't grow. The stone turtle doesn't grow like those are very flat story arcs. Marlin grows, Nemo grows, and that's it.

But that is what is important as well about flat arcs, because flat arcs help the growth or stand out and flat arcs provide stability to the story. So I 100% agree with those.

They almost, act like allegories.

They almost act like allegories. You want your main characters to, you want your POV characters. Definitely every POV character must have a growth. Now I do try and thread some growth into my what I call my primary secondary characters. So if I'm thinking of like Sangwheele Chronicles, for example, Louie has raule his best friend and Giselle Isabella has herself, who's attached to her.

And of course it's also set actually. And Yara has her two husbands. So those are those characters that are so close to the other two, the primary characters, the characters for them are try and thread in a growth because they are so close to the main characters and the the reader almost sees them as protagonists because they are close.

But you do a good.

Job of never letting them overshadow. Yes, the stories of the protagonist of the POVs.

Yes, And that is very important because it is very easy to let a character overshadow the the narrating character, especially like Isabella, for example, is a child character who is blind. It is very, very easy to have her get lost in like the kerfuffle of a scene. And you have to be very conscious that the narrating character is the important part, because the narrating character is what the reader is attached to.

It doesn't matter how cool all the other people are acting. If the narrating character is not part of the scene.


I mean, I don't have anything to add any of that.

It's just it.

Is the way it is.


let’s take a more of a 10,000 foot approach.

Do you feel genre has anything to do with character arcs?

I don't think I think that character arcs are so universal in human themes that it doesn't make a difference. Now, I say that, and I want to say this one caveat, and that is in romance, because to an extent romance has extremely limited character arcs like modes of boon romance. You know, the very like the hundred pages of all.

Were pushed back on that just a.

Little bit. And I realize I haven't written romance in you know, almost a decade.

Now, but you are correct in.

Your Harlequin romance, you know that.

Genre. But there are many genres.

Of romance and like sweet romance that I write.


Basically just write in fantasy. I just make sure that the central.


Arc is the romance and then the thematic elements that I'm playing within the story are secondary to that, that role, because the romance fan is going to want to read the romance first, and then I'm kind of piggybacking on that to also give them a message outside of romance. So yes, you're right. Certain genres of of romance 100% like.


There are a couple of genres of romance that are really, really light on the growth and I guess like middle grade fiction. So and what I mean by middle grade fiction is like the famous Five and the Hardy Boys, there isn't much character growth in those. It it has been a long time since I read those books, but there isn't much character growth in them because part of the joy of reading them is that the characters don't change.

Yeah, I mean, I see that more in mystery.

I mean, even adult mystery, the characters. I mean, Pairot doesn't check.

He doesn't.

Change. You could say Sherlock, but technically he's not the P.O.V. character, so.

But Pairot is.

Yeah. So, you know, I think it's more of a mystery thing that your detective.

Doesn't for that much.

I think perhaps the formulaic genres don't have much character growth.

You literally nailed that. And that That's it. Everything we're talking about leads down to if you're doing the formulaic, the mystery, the the certain types of romance, stuff like that, your character is probably not going to have because those.

Are genre driven stories.

You know, there's a murder to solve. There is a heart to warm.

You know, the people who the people who are consuming it want. That's the ability of character. They do not want a big change. They're consuming it for a different.

100%. Yeah, yeah. They're there for the romance. They're there for the mystery. They're there for whatever it is they're doing. Yeah. So, yeah, I think you got to the heart of it right there.

You know? And if you try and throw in a character out there, you're probably going to miss your audience. They're probably not going to like you.

Some cross, I mean, like knives out. I think knives out is one of the reasons why it was so popular with with that kind of branched out of your.


Mystery things is because it you know, they also tried to do more with the story than just a murder.


100%. But I mean, it's not like you have to be very specific and you're probably only going to write one, right? You're not going to write 20 books like that. I mean, and the purpose of these formulaic genres is for you to write 20 books, right? That all follow the same path.

Because you know, the average romance reader will read 30 to 50 romance novels. And now I'm talking just the average. Some of them are reading.

You know.

200, 300 in a year. And so to keep up with that kind of demand, obviously they're not remembering any of this stuff. They're not remembering the difference between them. They're looking for, you know, like with romance, I mean, depending on which type of romance you're you're writing, they're looking for that feeling that they get inside. Yeah. Now, whether that feeling is higher in their body or lower in their body depends on the genre of romance.

But they're still looking for that feeling inside.

So they don't hear about the characters.

But other than the formulaic genres, yeah, I would say no, no. And please understand, I'm not insulting the formulaic genres. no, I've consumed plenty of formulaic. I learned to read on formulaic. Yeah, I have fond memories of reading a lot of famous five. So but but in the formulaic, you're not you're not going to have growth arcs or not.

Usually not. Yeah.

And the reason why and if I'm putting words in your mouth, correct me, but the reason why I don't think that genre matters is because since especially I mean, you look at character arcs in a very thematic way, it's there to deliver the theme. Themes are human, themes are not fantasy, themes are not sci fi, themes are not Western, you know, they're human.

They're it doesn't we're just you know, I said this in class this weekend where I said,

because somebody asked me about genres and it was kind of close to this. But I basically said, look, genres exist so that we can attract a certain type of customer in to consumer message. I can, you know, if I write Western, if I want to do if I want to talk about racism, I can pull in, you know, I can do it in Western and then pull in those.

But I'm not going to pull in somebody that like sci fi, but I can write a sci fi story that explores the perils of racism. And then I can write a fantasy story and then I can write a mystery and then I can write. So like, so you use the genres because those.


I also said this because this kind of leads to it. Genres exist because and I think a lot of writers missed this fact.

What we do.

Is fantasy fulfilled. That's literally the baseline of our job where why am I such a huge epic fantasy fan? Because when I was a kid I wanted to ride dragons and want to slay dragons. I wanted to cast fireballs. I'm attracted to that for fantasy. And so the writer can then use my love of dragons and magic and all that to also then have me consume messages of, you know, from the story.

But you could do that same message in any genre. You just going to pull that crowd or this crowd. But we can we can absolutely do any message that we want through any of the stories, through the thematic elements. So I agree 100% that I don't think genre except for, like I said, it was so funny that you come up with that because we kind of struggle with that before the podcast.

That was brilliant.

And now I do want to just say that there was one formulaic writer that I do recollect actually did have a theme every time, but he had the same character growth of every every book with just the different characters. And that was it's a western author. Your Western reminder that it was Zane Gray So he, he wrote, I don't know, 50,000,789 gazillion Western books, right.

But they all follow the same pattern. There's the strong silent man who learns to be gentler because he falls in love with a woman. Every book is the same character growth arc, but it's great. It's a lot of fun, right?

Right. Yeah.

Yeah. That was back in the day when you got paid by the word and that was it. So you just broke fast.

It is rote.

And so if you can write, I mean, like Nora Roberts, if you've read one Nora Roberts story, you read every nor Robert story, She just puts different window dressing. He takes the story and she changes the curtains and she puts a new cover on the couch. And then there you go. And then she takes the story and she does it again.

She takes the wedding, she does it again. And like, that's fine.

I wish she's sitting on a pile of money.

I know. Yeah.

This is not me picking on Nora Roberts in any.

Way, shape or form. Yeah, because there is.

An audience that just they. They're not looking for, you know, we're fantasy fans, so, you know, we're looking for.

Debt then culture and physics. And like, if we.

You know, that's why stories like that burrows.


You know, again.

It's just that's our thing.

And some people are saying they're looking for something completely. They're still fantasy fulfilling. They're just looking for a different, you know, like my wife. My wife is a huge murder mystery fan. She reads them, she listens to them. She watches on TV. That's her thing. I don't they're boring to me. It's like, look, you had a killer.

And he gets caught at the end. Shocking. And then, look, it's another one where there's another killer who gets caught at the end. Shocking. I'm so. I'm so blown away by the ending of this movie. You know, not not to pick on that.

But she does not break rules.

She thinks that everyone should follow every rule, period, regardless. You know, she's a kindergarten teacher, so she's not you know, she's she's.

Got a very fine, narrow view of.

You know, what the world should be. And she doesn't live in that world and she's definitely not married.

To that world. So when she.

Goes to fantasy film, she wants to fantasy feel in a world where laws are always followed, justice is always served. Nothing is you know, nothing ever goes wrong as far as like the justice side of it. You know, it's a chaotic world, but it's always fixed. You know, the murderer always goes to jail or whatever. And so she's absolutely fantasy, fulfilling, you know, just like me and you were fantasy feeling when we go into Lord of the Rings or, you know, Star Wars or whatever.

So it's the same exact thing. And I think a lot of writers miss that.

Yeah. And that is why, like genre does matter in your delivery of the arc, but you should try for a character arc in your in whatever genre you're writing. So I think that we should start delving into crappy arcs versus satisfying arcs and how you can differentiate between this and mistakes writers make in delivering their arcs. And I will kick us off because I want to talk about a topic that is somewhat controversial and sexual awakening, right?

Yeah, Before.

You get there, because I was literally thinking like, where do we start in this? Do we start at the beginning of the end?

I want to start at the end.

So let me just do this quick and then we'll go. Because the reality is, at the end of the day, you don't know if you created a good arc or a bad or you don't.

You do the best you can.

And then hopefully you're smart enough to realize that you don't want to just put because.

You're like, I love this story. I'm going to absolutely put it out.

To the world. Because again, once you start getting reviews on Amazon, they're there for the rest of your life. They don't come down. No, you can't take them down. You can't request them being taken down. They're there forever. So the only way to know if you've succeeded with your character arc is to have people read it and tell you, because it always doesn't succeed with you.

You're always going to love it because you came up with it.

You have to test it out you because and the reason why I.

Stopped you is because you're about to prove that point in the fact that you're the reader, you're the fan, and you're about.

To critique something that was done and.

They didn't. Now it's a different thing and they don't have time for all this stuff, although they do in other equity.


They could have spent some freaking money.

Right, right, right, right, right. I'm not yet out of step. But the lesson.

Is, is and you know, this goes to one of my Drake isms, Drake Rule of ten. If you want to know if you succeeded or something, you get ten people who don't care about you, not your mom, not your spouse not your friends, because they're going to lie to.

You that they'll tell you they're telling.

You the truth. And you and I know you're thinking, no, my friend is always brutal to me. No, he's not like he's brutal.

He's brutal to the level that he knows you're cool with. He's not brutal. He's brutal at your comfort level.

And, you know, it's just the way it is because he actually cares about you or she actually cares about you. So you get ten people don't care about you. That's why I say a writer's group, and then you get honest feedback on it and if it hurts, it's okay because it just means that you thought you did something that you didn't achieve.

So the only way to test it out is to test it out. And that's it. That's really it. So you do your best and then you get it out there because it's always the audience is going to decide whether you impacted them with your story arc or not.

So that's how you test it. That's how you.

Decide whether you've succeeded or not.

You can't decide and the audience decides. You know.

I just want to say as well, like, don't get hung up on one by two. Reader yeah, you want, you want like 10 to 20 so that you can look at 80% versus 20% because they were always there are people who hate my writing style. There are people there's somebody who's given me a one star in Amazon.

It's not enough to bring me down below four. But somebody hated my book enough to give it a one star.


It happens.

Like, I'm sorry, I'll change it. If I ever change my mind, you can say I'm bringing it up.

But sorry, but. But you. The the thing is, what you want is you want 80% of the people who read it to say to you this characters arc was this and it satisfying and then you know that you've done it right.

How much of a douche.

move for that to be? The only book that I've ever blurbed in my entire life.

I give one star anyway.

It's valuable. You've already left your indelible mark on the book. You can't go back on it now.

Yeah. So I just wanted to go there. That's how we test it. And you're right, it's 80% because we want four out of five stars. I had.

A it's.

Not really she's not really a beta reader, but,

you know, I'm, I'm always getting people to read stuff or whatever. And so.


Not going to go into why but this person had access to my work in progress. And so she went ahead and answer the basic questions, and she did give me some things to think about because always but and I don't.


Give feedback on people's feedback, there's no point in it. They believe what they believe. They feel what they feel. They're right. There are 100% right. You can you can use it or not, but they're right in their opinion. But I did write her back and I was like, So, you know, thank you so much for the feedback. I do have something to say, though, and I don't usually give feedback to what I you know, when someone gives you feedback.

But I will say that you've.

Said some comments where.

You are solely.

Unique in how you looked at this.

Like no one else had said you went.

Down the paths that she went down, saw the things that she saw, and you know the things she saw. It was negative to her, but literally no one has ever gone and I didn't either. I like. So it was interesting. And it does make me now go, You know, is there some way to to mitigate that or do I just say no, This is literally one person in, you know, a lot.


Feels this way.

You can't like you can't please everyone. And the thing is, readers have got so much of their own baggage that you need to be cognizant of. So that you need to be cognizant of the commentary. Like I for example, for me, the Jade saga hit wrong in its treatment of substance abuse, right? But I am in the minority.

The Jade saga is running at a 4.5 average. Most people love it. Most people I mentioned this to push back and say, no, they handled it fine and that's fine. Those people are correct. But I am also correct in how it affected me because these things affect differently because of different life experiences.


What you want to do as a writer is you want to make sure your target audience is going to respond the way you want them to respond to your themes.

And that's the other thing. I don't even know if she this person, this this could literally be the very first fantasy thing she's ever read in her entire life. I don't know. She could be a massive fantasy fan, too. Literally, I don't have that information. Yeah.

So that's the other thing is like, that's why this genre is so important because you wanting to write for the right audience.


That's why I always I always bring up my only to star review on good reads. I have only so long. And it's funny because he makes fun of me the entire way. But the first line of it, in my opinion, negates everything because it says I don't like fantasy, but.


Like you're out of your opinion.

Does not matter.

Yeah, exactly.

So, all right.

So but now let's talk about what you can do about bad fantasy the bad character arcs and how you can identify them and how you can avoid them. And we're going to talk about rings of power. And there have been a lot of people who've dunked on rings of power for all the wrong reasons. So there's a lot of people who dunk on it for like, I don't love having a black elephant, whatever.

None of that bothers me. Okay, Now there's a lot of people who dunk on rings of powerful collateral being of a I also don't have a problem with that because I think that her being overpowered is the core of her growth. But they did the growth arc poorly. Well, they executed it pretty. Yeah. So what I think they were aiming for and I'll tell you why I'll show you the signposts that they hit along the way and then we can discuss why they didn't execute well despite the signposts.

So right in the beginning we were introduced to collateral being super overpowered, even compared to other elves. Yeah, she is obscenely overpowered, but she is arrogant with it. She is so driven she refuses to give up even when her companions are dying around and they have to force her into giving it up. And she just wants to keep driving it right.

And she's killing them. Her arrogance is killing. And then she goes back home and the king is clearly seeing that she is more of a harm than a help here. Sends her to the to the waist and rolls right across the ocean. And in her wisdom, in her arrogance, she decides, no, she's not going to obey the king.

She's going to dive over the side. Yeah. And all of that arrogance even ties into Tolkien's commentary around elves, which is that they are arrogant. Tolkien's elves have always had the flaw of arrogance right. So 100% she does. And now I think that that was a stupid move. But I understand what they were trying to show. They're showing how she disobeys the king because she believes that she knows better.

All right. It is all kind of setting up this flow of arrogance. Then who does she find on the wrath she finds Halbrand now spoiler. If you haven't watched the season one yet and if you haven't, I don't know what you've been doing with your time because it's been up for like two years. So but Halbrand is Sauron right now.

They do show you like they do give you some signposts here because there is a shadow of Halbrand and Galadriel And you can see Sauron's helmet outlined in the shadow that Halbrand casts. So they're definitely like foreshadow, right? And she rescues him and she brings him back with her and they then end up with the humans and then again, her arrogance almost causes her to fail in the human kingdom, and she's rescued by the guy who becomes Aragon's great ancestors, Father, you know that that and I can't remember the name, but it starts with an AI.

But he rescues her from her faux pas in court and he manages to get her to shut up long enough for him to handle the politics because her arrogance is literally sinking the alliance between elves and me. But then they create too much noise around this ark by having the humans be like elves will not replace us. Which is just that line was just so stupid.

It was like it was just such fundamentally dumb lines. There that they kind of drowned out that important element of the storyline, which is showing, again, her arrogance being a problem. And then right at the culmination of the of the off season one, her arrogance literally put Sauron into the position to be able to forge the rings of power literally.

And she's like, I will stop you. And he's like, No, no, you won't. And he freezes her and goes and does because he is Sauron and she is not. And so I can see what they were aiming for, what they're aiming for with their storyline at least what I believe they were aiming for with her storyline is that she's arrogant, she's causing her own injuries, even despite all her power, and she is unleashing evil into the world because of arrogance.

But and she her arc should therefore be learning humility. And that does work well with an overpowered character. I don't think they pulled it all, despite the fact that I can see it.



And what I said and I.

I said this because I do.

Not like rings of power, and I've never made that, you know, a secret. I hope that Marie is correct. I really do. That's an interesting story. That's a story that I want to see. And the fact of the matter is, is that we're I mean, the proof is in the pudding. So season two is going to come out eventually.

Who knows when they keep pushing it back. And, you know, the story is you know, the story is either going to prove me right or.


It could be that Maria is just a way better storyteller. And because a lot of writers, unfortunately, drop things into a story that someone so like last night in the critique group, one of the readers did this thing and I was like, So this is prime callback. When because it's a short story and I'm like, everything that happens in the actual event.

So the person played a video game and it was all flawless. And then you know that that where it's going is going to be horrendous for this character. It's more than likely going to be a tragedy is what I'm thinking, as like I hope that everything that happened in this video game in the rest of the story, just in a very bad messed up way, because otherwise you've missed a great opportunity.

And then one of the other critics were like, Well, wait a minute, now, this was worked really well because it showed me the character of this character. I'm like, Yes, it does.

That is that.

Is exactly right. But if that's all it does, then it's a massive missed opportunity. And I don't remember exactly I don't know if we ever because I don't really ask the writers a question. I'm just I give them, you know, just like you should give them advice given what we see when we feel. So he may have been thinking that or, you know, he may not have, but a lot of writers will will put things in the story that is cool at that moment and and don't realize the potential of what it could be in the future.

So I hope you're right.

I really, really hope you're right. You're a brilliant storyteller. You also could be blue curtains.

It could be blue, could it? And for those of you who don't know Blue Curtain. So there was a professor who waxed lyrical about the meaning of the color blue in a scene because you know the right to specified blue curtains. And then somebody asked the writer about how he came up with all of these metaphors for Blue.

And he looked and was like, Look, the curtains are blue because the curtains in my hotel room where I was writing the scene with blue.

And I got to the curtain description and I looked around the room and I was like.

The and that's actually a meme.

I don't think that actually happened. That's a story that we tell about it.

But yeah, but yeah, I mean.

You the proof is in the pudding. I mean, that's the thing. And again, what we talked about the beginning of this, how you're going to decide whether you've done your job or not.

You're not.

The audience this.


And so I will know in season two how how strongly part of that that arrogant story arc. But the reason why I feel it didn't come through strongly enough for like everybody to be talking about this is because they muddied the crap out of the waters. Yeah they, they she was constantly moving from place to place. And the problem with an arrogant storyline is you need to show the effect of that arrogance constantly on people.

When you need you know.

There's another reason for it. And we talked about this yesterday. Yeah, yesterday when we were just meeting.

Because you're right.

100% they they did wash it down in the story.

But they also.

Did not utilize the.


Of the story that they had. So here's where we talk about to tie this back into this. They had too many character arcs that they had to give time to. And that's why none them.

And they only had ten episodes because they're like one of those super expensive, overpriced shows that can only afford ten episodes. Right. All right. But you have write within the limitations of your time constraints. They could have cut the grim door conflicts. Nobody needed grim door callbacks in their lives like nobody.

You give me 500.

Million dollars to make a TV show.

I'm going to give you 50.

Episodes minimum.

Like I'm going to give you a TV.

Show that's going to run.

The whole stinkin year. Yeah, because I don't know where you're going to spend that money. But anyway, so. So this.

Ties into what we were saying earlier about.

Who should get a story arc.

Now it's TV and there's a it's a different me. I mean, you know, as a novelist, one of the better things about a novelist is you're beholden to no one, even when I was working in the industry. And so, you know, I'm beholden to selling to publishers.

They either buy it or they don't. And yes, if.

They buy it, they're always like, we'd like you to change this aspect or We'd like you to change this character. And then you either do it or you don't. It depends on if you want the money or not.

But you're still.

Pretty much an island. You're still pretty much reliant on what you feel is the right thing based off of either your beta readers or just you or your own arrogance or whatever. But you get into something like that, something in this TV and you've got you've got the writers, you've got directors, you've got actors, you've.


Producers and executives.

And and it's the don't know Dick about storytelling.

Amazon. So you have Jeff Bezos with his finger on the scale. Yeah, right, right.

So you have so many.

Things that you know so that's the other thing is that you forced me to actually think about before this podcast that I never really thought about, you know, I'm mad at Ring of Power because it could have been so much more and you forced me to go, You know what? Technically, even though I have hammered on the writers, you know, ever since it came out.

Technically, I mean.

I was writing the movie script. It never went anywhere. But I'm literally in the throes of writing, and it is a kind of a horror.


Thing. It was a sci fi thing, but the producer calls me up and says, Hey, I need you to write in a scene that has a three year old baby in it. And I'm like, What? Like, Yeah, there's a guy that's going to invest like 50 million or 20 million, $10 million, whatever it was. And his daughter's pregnant.

And so when we go into production, this child will be probably about three years old. So I need to, you know, he won't, he's not going to invest if we don't have a scene for his granddaughter or grand baby, whatever it was. And I'm like, Yeah, no, that's not happening. And he's like, Yeah, it is. That's what

you need to do. I'm like, No.

It's not happen. I'm not, no, I'm not doing it. It's not happening.

So like, I'm not kidding.

When I say.

You have no idea. Yeah.

What these people think and how they, you know, come down on writers and everything like that.

And I’m just a

writer who won't put my name on something for money. I just won't. I'd rather just be broke.

And I mean, that's that's the thing is like, you know, the rings of power writers, they're all contracted. They're all sitting in a writer's room, whatever. And you know that they use these mini rooms and all of that crap, right? So, so I don't I don't actually blame them per say, but they would too many orcs can.

Can I, can I take a can I case a rabbit. Yeah. Because I hear that all.

The time, not just from you but from other people.

And I just don't.

Think that's a good.


When they're like.

but writer's room.

Rooms used to be eight people and now they're and then they went to six and now they're four.

no, no. That's, that's a plus from you.

Yeah, man. You in 3 hours. So we just need bounce off stuff.

Yeah. Yeah, 100%. But I'll tell you what the problem is with a smaller writer's room and with a writer's room that also short is it's a training problem, Right? Right. Because. Because you no longer have large writing, you can't have junior writers who just in the back and not contribute because. And so how do people who are, you know, just getting into writing, how do they learn?

They have no way to write.

But I mean.

Like I said, yeah, being a novelist.

Like no one.

There was no writing room for for you or me. When we sat down to write our first novel.

We just did it. And so I.

Don't know, I just like I said, I mean, I.

Got so many different.

The problem is like TV is it is a different medium and you can't just so but anyway, regardless, the problem with with rings of powers is, as I say, they just they, they muddied the crap out of the waters. They were telling too many stories and they couldn't give Gilad Drill's arrogance story, the breathing room. It needed to really blossom.


And they rushed like I think that they should have put off the actual forging of the ring. Still, season two, I think she should have gotten Halbrand into the same room and then they should have spent the next season forging the rings. Yeah, I think that that would have given them also time to tell the story.

Yeah. And because I mean.

And the words elves will not replace us should never have come out of a character's mouth. I don't know what.

Yeah, but story space is a.

Very serious thing. I mean, both of us write, you know, everything from epic fantasy to, you know, we got the magicfalls, the sky's of destiny, which are, you know, 80,000 words, 75,000, 80,000 words. You know, I'm working on a 15, 18,000. Actually, I'm working on two novellas and then one short story. And so.

You have.

As a story creator, you have to go, okay.

I've got this much space. Yeah, I want to explore.

This many things. I'm going to explore.

This thing because I've got this much space. I'll see. You do have to you do have to live.

By that. I mean, even though you know, both of us are in the indie press world, technically the only limitation we have is how small do you want to make the font? Because you only have so many pages in the book. You can make the font, you know, like microscopic and have.


Ton of story. But, you know, that's really our only limitation. Or you can break it up into two volumes.

But we still have a limitation. We still have this is how big the story is.

And and let me tell you, you will lose readers at those doorstop but at books that are beyond. Yes, yeah beyond the.

Pale but I mean it's even it's.

Even more than that so like I just got hired by Harn World. I'm doing novellas for them I'm doing a 25,000 word novella every quarter. That's my contract. I'm not going to get paid for more and I'm going to, but I will get paid less for less. So like I have 25,000 words. So when we when I sit down with the the dev team, they're writers, but I don't like to use that term because it muddies the water as far as because there are there are different type of writer there, a game writer versus a prose writer.

So they're the development team of the game. So when I sit down with them and go over things, you know, they're excited, they're throwing things out of me because I'm the first prose writer that they've ever had. This the first time Harn World has ever, you know, in 40 years has stepped into writing stories. I mean, technically there was something in the past, but they try not to talk about that.

So they're throwing things at me and I'm like, Yeah, I don't have time. I don't time to do that. Like, let's focus on this. I got 25,000.


Like, this is the story that that I'm going to tell in this moment. Now we can explore other things in other times, but this. Yeah. So, you know.

You have to stick. We have to stick with it. And this is the problem. If you don't stick within your space of your story, if you try and cram too much in, what's going to happen is you're going to cut critical parts that aren't perhaps the exact beats, because that's the thing that the exact beats were Galadriel, but they had none of the extra moments that makes the story breathe and that gives the reader satisfaction.

It was like a train ride to a destination as opposed to a gentle, you know, boat ride or like a carriage ride. It was just like a bullet train heading to a place. Yeah. Same problem with Game of Thrones season eight. In fact.

Bullet train. Yeah.

Yeah. I mean, yeah.

You you.

Have to, as a storyteller, understand how much space you have available. And it's so funny because I just realized I needed that in my life. Like I take on a million products, even though I don't our projects, even though I don't have the bandwidth to actually do it. And yet.

I won't take.

On a story element that is bigger than the space that I have. So I guess I just realized that I'm an idiot because I'm really good at the story side and really horrible that real life.

But I learned to do that in real life because what you what you say yes to means you're saying no to something else, or at the very least you're saying no to quality because there are only 24 hours in a day. Yeah.


And that's the reason why I'm notoriously slow as a writer, because I don't say note anything. So I don't say no to someone asks me to do something and then I don't say no to quality. So time. I'm actually. No, you're right. I am saying no to something. I'm saying no to being on time. That's what I'm saying.

No to saying no to meeting deadlines.

Yep. Yeah, no 100%. And I need to get better at that.

So I mean, I think that.

Ties everything in to what we're talking about.


if you.

Buy into the fact that your character arc is tied into your thematic element, that it's a delivery mechanism, it's not a cool character, it needs to be a cool character. I'm not saying that the reader needs to see it as a cool character, but from a.


Standpoint, it's not a cool character. It's a UPS delivery vehicle. That's all it is. It's there to deliver the theme, which means it has to have an arc, which means it has to, you know, have start somewhere and then change and grow and everything like that. And again, there's other types of stories, but we're talking about the main thrust of what you're going to do if you're a genre fiction writer.

And if you buy into that, then you also need to buy into the there's only so much time to give it. And so since you can't mention anything, you've got to look for very intelligent, organic ways to make sure that the reader is consuming the message without you ever mentioning the message. And so therefore, that how do you make a good character arc is it's a structural thing in my it's a it's a and I say this in my class too, because I just did my theme class this month.

The only thing a reader walks away with is the theme. They don't walk away with your characters. They don't walk away blowing up death stars. They don't walk away slaying dragons, those things all you know, they'll remember them or whatever. But what they walk away with is what the story made them feel. So if you think to a story that you read ten years ago, I mean, you just said it today.


Do you remember any massive details about the what you call it, the five.

The famous five?

No, the famous five?

No. But you do remember how you felt that.

And that comes from the theme. That's really what it comes from. If the stories have themes that impact you on a human level, they make you feel something and you remember that feeling. You do not remember the details of the story. And so.

That's what.

A character arc is. So if you want to understand whether you succeeded or not with your character arc, is does it make the reader feel something on a thematic little level? Because then they will remember that as they go forward. And if it doesn't, it doesn't matter how cool. I mean, you're basically Michael being the story.

So I don't.

Not only did the Shia LaBeouf character's story in Transformers not impact me.

I don't remember the character's name. I have no like, like now, don't get me wrong, I love Transformers.

It was great eye catching, big, big robot killing thing, explosion stuff. I will never watch it again because I've already been there. I've already seen it. I got my enjoyment out of it. It was a visual enjoyment, which is why I can only happen in the visual medium.

But it's not. I don't it didn't it? If I never see that movie again.

I won't even notice. My life will not.

Change in a flea's.

Breath way. So because it has no themes, it has nothing that's going to last. It's not like The Shawshank Redemption or even Jurassic Park. If you want to talk about the exact same type of movie. Yet Jurassic Park made me feel something. Therefore I remember it fondly. If I get a chance to see it again, I'll watch it again, you know?

And so that's what storytellers really have to lock into. And so when we talk about story, story arcs, I know so many people walk into, but you got to have, you know, this cool character thing that's going to do this. You know, he's going to slay dragons.

You know.

It has to make the reader feel something. Yeah. And I think that's how you decide whether the character arc is successful or not.

I think that that that is a good place in which to end this episode. And we will see you soon for another one.


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