Day 19 – The Arc Holds True
I reviewed my original character arc and you know what? It still holds true.
When I originally drafted the outline for my YA story, Alone, I made a plot of my protagonist’s character arc. And after two and a half(ish) years of writing, editing, critiquing, more editing, more critiquing, further editing, and tightening, the character arc remains the same. It’s a bit of a surprise that the original story line still applies in the final (or near-final) version considering all the hacking and slashing. I’m pleased.
Now, by the seventh version, the novel starts at #2 when Alex wakes in the hospital after the accident in which his parents died. There is no description of Alex’s pre-accident life with his parents, but the height of point 1, the starting positivity if you will, can be inferred by Alex’s reactions and inner dialogue from point 2 through recovery at 3 to relative normalcy at 4 (and beyond).
The rest of the arc remains as originally mapped. The sudden drop at 5 when Alex is diagnosed with Leukemia reaches the lowest depth in his arc (6). He battles the disease and the treatment with the help of his support team (7), overcoming the pain as the disease is contained and looking forward to his future with his girlfriend and friends, but is then exposed to the negative effects of his resentful aunt that causes anxiety and depression (8–9), and finally lashes out when he challenges Aunt Eve’s beliefs and behavior (10). At the end of the story, when Alex learns of his family’s history and successfully convinces his aunt to change (11), he reaches the same height as before the diagnosis. He never reaches the same height he was at before his parent’s death, and no one should expect him to, but after beating the cancer and his aunt, he achieves a relatively high level of happiness. That’s the best that can be hoped for.
I haven’t written many novels, so the number of points in my personal data set isn’t large, but I would not have guessed the character arc envisioned before the novel was written would survive as is after editing. I’d like to think that it’s the sign of a skilled author and a solid story well executed, but I don’t think I can say that, nor am I probably allowed to. Oh well, I’m still pleased.