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

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


Writers Write is your one-stop writing resource. In this post, we discuss how to use external change to show emotional change 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.

If you want your readers to be satisfied, your character has to change. How can you show these changes?

Use External Change To Show Emotional Changes In Your Characters

Before you start writing, 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 and not tell when you do this. Internal monologue has its uses, but you run the risk of too much ;telling’.

How will you show me the change?  Try my outside/inside approach. If you do, you can use external change to show emotional change. I have illustrated two examples for you to see how this works below.

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

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