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Progress happens in the story if the character undergoes changes. A character arc is essential in every novel, but creating it isn’t exactly a walk in the park.

What makes a novel exciting and gripping?

With countless books published annually, one would imagine people read and keep a highly varied selection. Yet, in a connected and internet-run society, title circulation remains limited when one asks people for book recommendations. Of the books published, only a portion makes it out of the publications and the market and into the mainstream media.

Putting this into perspective, from hundreds of books available for the public to buy and read monthly, only around ten or so titles get popular, grabbing the public’s interest. As unfortunate as it is, not every book gets purchased, and not every story shared gets heard. Although each has gone through an extensive process of story and world-building, not every book gets the appreciation they deserve. The competition for people’s interest remains tight in the literary field. Any budding author might ask how they can write books that people will thoroughly enjoy.

What Makes a Book Interesting?

What people find enjoyable in movies differs from what they find gripping in books.

After all, reading books is more a cognitive and intellectual entertainment than a visual and auditory experience as in the movies. It requires more stimulation and meticulous progression to keep readers on the edge of their seats and not bored midway. People won’t stick to a book only for the multiple action sequences and mysterious undertone. Readers’ interests don’t solely revolve around the resolution of the central conflict, the journey from Point A to Point B.

Instead, what makes readers stay, their intrigue piqued, is the subtle progressions that happen internally – those that readers yearn for more and are curious to find out what happens next.

In the good vs. evil story written by Anthoney Pate titled Anthoney’s Return From Hell, readers are taken along a more profound journey that transcends physical battles and victories. Most current fictional novels might highlight more actions and adventures, catering to the possibility of a movie adaptation. But this story takes on an entirely separate route.

With its plot centering around Anthoney’s atonement of sins, the book balances action with personal growth and the essential character arc. It focuses more on the protagonist’s mental and spiritual growth than the exciting events that highlight its physical movements.

What makes a book gripping isn’t always about how well authors narrate fight scenes or how well they’ve played out the mystery. A book is as enjoyable as its characters – the focal figures of the plot, the conveyers of every event and emotion weaved into its pages. Hence, authors shouldn’t only create exciting sequences but also believable and relatable characters that make readers stay.

How Is This Achieved?

Readers stay throughout the lengths of a book if they’re invested in its characters. They’ll be willing to read through and finish the book’s bounds as long as they care and root for their triumph. It doesn’t matter what the character is, but what matters is the story they undergo as the story unfolds.

Readers love to see how characters evolve; the changes they experience and practice, the more they encounter challenges and realize their shortcomings. Change is the only dynamic thing in the world, and readers want to relish it in their books.

A character arc is the sequence of events detailing the character’s internal struggle and how they’ve adjusted to overcome this. It encompasses the adversities and challenges they face throughout the story, serving as the powerful element that carries the emotional weight of the protagonist. Traditionally, a character arc includes a three-act structure that consists of the formation of the incident or the conflict leading to its resolution – the whole book’s summary.

Depending on how the character arc is paced and planned and how the changes are organized throughout the story, the plot’s progression can be satisfying or underwhelming. It’s what makes or breaks the resolution of the conflict, the measure of how well the ending will suffice. Depending on how they’re written, readers can connect and relate to the characters, bringing out an emotional attachment that quickly draws out emotions from the readers.

How Do Authors Write a Compelling Character Arc?

Authors may have an excellent character arc, but if its execution fails, everything else follows. Hence, they must chart out and thoroughly plan its occurrence.

Depending on the story’s pacing and genre, a protagonist may experience a positive or negative character arc. For instance, in Anthoney’s Return From Hell, readers are provided a sense of relief as Anthoney’s story comes to an end with his positive arc. Although the story’s events centrally point to an action-filled novel, the character arc Anthoney experiences gives a more inspirational take. This provides a solid and motivational pursuit readers will likely stick with through the plot’s progression.

An excellent character arc takes time and effort to plan. But all the author’s hard work will pay off as they progress deeper into the story. An extensively plotted arc refines the story and makes it more effective in drawing out emotions from readers.

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