ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Craft Your Own Character Arc

Updated on January 17, 2020
Jim Bucsko profile image

Interested in the self-help genre and psychology, I tend to read up on the topic. What's more, it is actionable information to practice.

Source

Becoming Effective Characters

Trained to write professionally, it is impossible not to observe parallels between life and fiction, real people and fictional characters. Of course, the paradox is that we can often know fictional characters more intimately than even our closest friends or family members. This is due to the fact that the author has the power to reveal the characters’ thoughts to us.

And we are all indeed the main characters in our own stories. That said, it sometimes proves difficult to remember this about the others around us. This is particularly the case when someone, in some manner, opposes us. It’s always their fault, right? (An example of the self-serving bias.)

However, screenwriter John Rogers encourages us to view it from the other’s perspective: “You don’t really understand an antagonist until you understand why he’s a protagonist in his own version of the world.” When we engage in this sort of thinking everyone benefits. becoming more effective as others feel appreciated. Furthermore, think of all the needless battles we will have avoided.

Acceptance & Growth

Lastly, we might imagine ourselves as the author of our own story. If we want the main character to develop—to become an improved person—we must create obstacles for her. If in contrast, she spends all her nights sitting comfortably on the couch, she will remain the same person. In both fiction and films, the character often has to face what she dreads most.

In my case, I narrowly survived a car accident that left my left-side paralyzed. If I wanted to regain full movement and relearn to walk, I need to develop a positive mindset and view the obstacles as opportunities to grow. At one point, I even asked people to start referring to me as Jim B instead of James. James died, but the new and improved Jim was ready to rise to the challenge of TBI Recovery.

And, when we experience trauma in real life, there is this very real possibility to grow as a person. This is referred to as post-traumatic growth (PTG). Developed by researchers Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun, PTG aims to explain the potential of trauma survivors to experience growth. Tedeschi explains it using the metaphor of an earthquake (trauma) and a building (survivor): “But if the building suffers damage, it has to be rebuilt and the rebuilding is the growth” (qtd in Rendon 18).

And this view can definitely be coupled with the Stoic concept amor fati, or 'love of fate,' by which we accept what challenges life presents us with, no? As the philosopher Epictetus put it, "Don't ask for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will--then your life will flow well" (qtd in Holiday 326). As Robert Greene pointed out in his interview by Ryan Holiday, however, we don't necessarily truly love what happens to us, but rather accept it. He offered the stroke he had last year as an example.(a stroke he attributes in part due to overexerting himself writing his most recent book).

In the final analysis, we must embrace the obstacles we encounter in life. In contrast, wishing things were different or living in denial is counterproductive. We must, in fact, recognize the potential in such challenges. As rapper 50 Cent puts it, “Every negative is a positive. The bad things that happen to me, I somehow make them good. That means you can’t do anything to hurt me.”

And, 50 Cent isn’t just talking theoretically here, as he demonstrated this philosophy after getting shot nine times and leveraging the traumatic experience to build a rap career and business empire. And this philosophy is also aligned with the Stoic concept of amor fati, or ‘love of fate.’ However, as Greene explained in his interview by Ryan Holiday, this doesn’t mean we love everything that happens to us. He cited his own stroke as an example of something he certainly doesn’t love that happened. Nevertheless, acceptance is necessary.

As for 50, he specifically chose, for instance, not to get speech therapy. He wanted his listeners to hear his lisp, reminding them he got shot all those times and survived. How will you respond to the challenges in your life? Will you overcome them and be an inspiration to others going through the same struggle? Or will you be the type of person who complains or gives up? The choice is yours.

Sources

50 Cent & Robert Greene. 50th Law. New York: HarperStudio, 2009. Print.

Holiday, Ryan. The Daily Stoic. London: Profile Books, 2016, Print.

Rendon, Jim. Upside: The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth.

New York: Touchstone, 2015. Print.

Rogers, John. Goodreads.

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/429248-you-don-t-really-understand-an-antagonist-until-you-understand-why Online.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)