How To Use External Change To Show Emotional Changes In Your Characters

How To Use External Change To Show Emotional Changes In Your Characters


It is interesting how we immediately relate to change and uncertainty in our own lives, but we sometimes forget to do this with our characters. Character arcs are important. The person at the end of the book cannot be the same as the person in the beginning of the book. Your character has to change. 

List five or six major changes or developments your character will go through. For the purpose of this post, I will tie them to the five major plot points. Remember you must show this. Internal monologue has its uses, but you run the risk of ‘telling’. How will you show me the change?  Try an outside/inside approach. Use external change to show emotional change.

Example One: A character who goes from being a follower to being a leader 

How To Use External Change To Show Emotional Changes In Your Characters

Example Two: A woman who leaves an abusive relationship

How To Use External Change To Show Emotional Changes In Your Characters

Everything will influence your character’s development. Some stories take place in a matter hours or days. Others take place over an entire lifetime. Some events are bigger and some smaller, but they all should affect your character.

Happy writing.

 by Mia Botha

If you enjoyed this post, you will love:

  1. How To Make The Most Of Your Scenes
  2. Fallen Heroes – Creating Characters By Looking At Real People
  3. Start Here: 3 Things You Need To Do At The Beginning Of Your Novel
  4. 7 Reasons Why Writers Should Make A Scene List