• Creating Character Arcs

  • The Masterful Author's Guide to Uniting Story Structure, Plot, and Character Development
  • By: K.M. Weiland
  • Narrated by: Sonja Field
  • Length: 5 hrs and 7 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (890 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Creating Character Arcs  By  cover art

Creating Character Arcs

By: K.M. Weiland
Narrated by: Sonja Field
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $19.95

Buy for $19.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Powerful character arcs create powerful stories.

Have you written a story with an exciting concept and interesting characters - but it just isn't grabbing the attention of readers or agents? It's time to look deeper into the story beats that create realistic and compelling character arcs. Internationally published, award-winning novelist K.M. Weiland shares her acclaimed method for achieving memorable and moving character arcs in every book you write.

By applying the foundation of the three-act story structure and then delving even deeper into the psychology of realistic and dynamic human change, Weiland offers a beat-by-beat checklist of character arc guidelines that flexes to fit any type of story.

This comprehensive book will teach you:

  • How to determine which arc - positive, negative, or flat - is right for your character.
  • Why you should never pit plot against character. Instead, learn how to blend story structure and character development.
  • How to recognize and avoid the worst pitfalls of writing novels without character arcs.
  • How to hack the secret to using overarching character arcs to create amazing trilogies and series.
  • And much more!

Gaining an understanding of how to write character arcs is a game-changing moment in any author's pursuit of the craft.

Bring your characters to unforgettable and realistic life - and take your stories from good to great!

©2016 K.M. Weiland (P)2017 K.M. Weiland

What listeners say about Creating Character Arcs

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    650
  • 4 Stars
    171
  • 3 Stars
    41
  • 2 Stars
    20
  • 1 Stars
    8
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    561
  • 4 Stars
    136
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    520
  • 4 Stars
    139
  • 3 Stars
    43
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    10

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Why We Read (Listen To) These Books

If, like me, you have read all of the other books in this genre (Story, Screenplay, Save the Cat, etc.), there is nothing really new to be found beyond a deeper look into the specific aspects of character arc. I like these books because sometimes a different perspective on the same subject can be illuminating. Instead of hearing Robert McKee for the fifth time, I can listen to Ms. Weiland say nearly the same thing. but from a slightly different perspective. Sometimes this is all I need to break through writer's block or a particular problem I may be having with a story. i would rank this book just after Story and above Save the Cat.

36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Pi
  • 09-05-18

Doesn't waste your time

One problem I've grown increasingly tired of with advice books is excessive padding. Rather than specific advice, most books drag on forever finding new ways to rephrase the core thesis of each section, substituting repetition for insight.

Not so with Creating Character Arcs. This book is packed with pointed advice and clearly articulated examples. What little repetition exists merely serves to reorganize the majors points at the end of each chapter in a way that you can quickly reference for your own projects.

I also appreciate the bravery in giving real advice, as opposed to couching everything in murky terms of "personal judgment" or "taste." That's not to say that every piece of advice will apply to every project, but the writer recognizes that we can make those decisions for ourselves, avoiding the unnecessary qualifiers that plague so many other books in this genre.

This book is surprisingly dense with useful information, and it sets the standard, not just for writing advice books, but for advice books as a whole.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Stop. Stop Now!

Would you try another book from K.M. Weiland and/or Sonja Field?

Never

What do you think your next listen will be?

Anything else

Would you be willing to try another one of Sonja Field’s performances?

Possibly

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Creating Character Arcs?

All of them

Any additional comments?

This is a book for hacks, not for writers looking to pursue a serious expansion of their skills or craft. It is a base level, bullet point list of formulaic approaches to writing. If you want to write commercial fiction to sell in grocery store magazine racks, or are just starting out and don't know what a character arc is, this is a good place to start. If you understand the concepts of plot, character, and story structure, this title has nothing to offer you other than aggravation.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Let's All Use Formulas From Marvel and Pixar?

When Welland goes to examples from such drivel as Marvel's The Mighty Thor and Pixar's Cars, it seems like a how-to-book for future pop culture creators or young studio execs who need to keep busy giving notes. Is the bar really this low?

What of Bogart's Rick in Casablanca? What about Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovic? Dustin Hoffman in the Graduate? There are hundreds of great examples from brilliant films, let's start at the top and work our way down to the kiddie section.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Character Arc Perfection!

If you could sum up Creating Character Arcs in three words, what would they be?

Character analysis mastery!

What other book might you compare Creating Character Arcs to and why?

There are dozens of books on character building, but this book shows how your character faces the challenges in your story.

Have you listened to any of Sonja Field’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This is the first time I heard the voice of Sonja Field.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

This book equipped me with the tools necessary to help my characters fulfill their purpose in my novels.

Any additional comments?

Before you publish your novel, read this book!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant Resource

The ebook and workbook weren't enough; I couldn't leave for work without grabbing the audio version, too. It's packed with so much great character-building information you'll need to slow down the read rate and take it all in. During a rough week at work, this selection made the commute more than worthwhile.

This is a must own for story writers.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best writing book I've read.

I'm so thankful for this book. The information was clear and understandable, there were a lot of examples and I loved the question at the end of each chapter. They made me think as I was listening and ultimately saved my novel from the trash folder (figuratively, I'd never actually toss it out permanently.)
There is a lot of repeated information from Structuring Your Novel, but I read this one first, and now that I have read that one I think this is ultimately the better book. I can't wait until the workbook is released.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

good tips but ironically lacks character

this plays like a cook book and really only has strenght if you can pace it and dart around looking for certain points.

because of its persistent point after point as an audio book it is forgettable

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

flat arc characters

If all the books on screenwriting and writing in general that I have read, this is the only book that covers flat arc characters. worth reading for that alone.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Overly formulaic

While there were some good ideas and some good advice in this book, the points that were made and many of the examples seemed contrived.

7 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for FXD
  • FXD
  • 04-20-17

Disappointed

I was disappointed with this book and felt that it was covering the same points used in some of her other books. I chose to get an audio version of this book too, I felt the reading performance was below par for two reasons: 1. it was read much too fast, 2. it didn't feel like the reader had engaged with the factual content, and was just reading it to get through it, not to communicate with the listener. I've abandoned this audio book at 30% as I can't spend another 3 hours listening to this reader. I will probably dip into the kindle book for the rest of the content.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Asio
  • Asio
  • 09-30-19

Condescending

I coul not get past the first chapter where she assumed that her own misunderstandings about character arcs were also true for the reader. I bought this book because I thought it would be informative but I don’t trust the author as she hasn’t quite got the hang of writing this book. One rule of writing is to not underestimate your reader. Respecting your audience is a cardinal rule, you are serving them through your writing.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for n/a
  • n/a
  • 02-13-21

Learn to Write Mediocre Stories

Great book if you want to learn how to write contrived seeming stories that try to bash the reader over the head with a moral lesson.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-25-17

creating character arcs

absolutely loved it. so well explained with great examples. really fascinating and such amazing content

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ducarta
  • Ducarta
  • 09-07-22

Plenty of food for thought

I found this book chock full of great points and instruction to ensure my next story is now running away with itself, going nowhere.

Personally I think it could do with some pdf notes to help guide the journey but that aside I now have the confidence to write character arcs and also analyse other stories for ideas.

Highly recommend!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jenn
  • Jenn
  • 06-30-21

By the audible & Kindle ed. in a package because..

I read the reviews first and was unsure of getting this book. I took the advice from another review, before I bought it ,that you'd also need the kindle for all the lists and tips (because I'd just got another audible book that had the same issue). It was the right decision. I slowed down the speed to 0.95x (sometimes 0.9x) as it does go a little fast in places.
The information in the book is brilliant. I learnt a lot listening to the audible in full and now I'm going to go back through the Kindle version to develop my characters. I thought I'd already read good books on writing novels and this was just an addition for background listening, but it should have been one of my key titles from the start. Now my characters seem lacking without implementating the arcs and methods detailed and broken down in this book. I'm so relieved I bought this. 5* for sure

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kevin Higgins
  • Kevin Higgins
  • 03-15-21

insight

brilliant to know how stories and films are thought out and engineered. this gives me a deeper appreciation for the talent that are the making of stories

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Barry K Jackson
  • Barry K Jackson
  • 12-24-19

Clear and relevant.

The topic of creating character arcs is presented in a clear, accessible way with relevant examples.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Robert Hamilton
  • Robert Hamilton
  • 07-14-19

Not just for aspiring writers

Informative and compelling, I'd recommend listening to anyone looking to write or even engage with stories at a deeper level.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sol
  • Sol
  • 07-11-19

Thorough examination of the topic

Starts with the basics but then delves deeper. Discusses positive, flat and negative arcs. Gave me additional insight regarding various arc related questions in the last part.

You either want to take notes or get the book edition too, to access the checklists for each act.

Provides examples based on popular stories.

Content has been boiled down to the essence, without creating a boring read.

Speedy narration, needed to slow to the player.

This is a keeper for future reference.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jodie Richards
  • Jodie Richards
  • 12-28-21

This book changed my writing

This is the most helpful book I've read on writing. Words added because audible insisted they must exist.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for John Cruickshank
  • John Cruickshank
  • 11-03-21

Another Good Reference Book for Writers

If you are new or unfamiliar with the terminology used in story structure I suggest that you first read ‘Structuring Your Novel’ in order to get the best from ‘Creating Character Arcs’. Both books are very good reference materials for writers and as K. M. Weiland points out ‘plot structure and character arc are integral to one another’. Since both references are stand-alone books it’s not surprising that there is an overlap in the material covered. Therefore, if you have read ‘Structuring Your Novel’ first then I suggest leaving some time before reading ‘Creating Character Arcs’. This will allow you to approach the material fresh and absorb the new information on character arcs without doing a mental comparison of both books as I did. I am happy to have both books as references and find that going through the checklists and questions is helping to improve my writing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for BillionaireManzi
  • BillionaireManzi
  • 09-08-20

Fantastic

In depth analysis on most characters in movies, novels and media. A Must Read. Thanks

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dean
  • Dean
  • 05-23-20

Great book!

I bought this book and it didn’t disappoint! Buy this book! You won’t regret it!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-16-19

Greatly helps with character building

This book opened my mind to the large topic of character creation.

Defiantly worth a listen.