I think I do a bit of both tbh. I do plot out the character arcs at the start, but things change as I write (as they do, the wee buggers), so by the end I need to do it all again for my major edit. That’s when Julie Cohen’s post-it notes come into play! I’m basically a walking advert for Julie and Craig.
@daedalus re the tragic/heroic thing – it was a context lovely Craig used to talk about the fact that the ultimate ‘climax’ of the book is the moment when the character *internally* eventually truly wins over whatever their personal demons have been, and if they manage this, then they can go into the *external* grand finale with the tools to ‘win’. Where-as if they fail to be reborn into their new selves, then they will ‘lose’ in the final external conflict. I guess that concept doesn’t cover the implications of what externally ‘winning’ or ‘losing’ will be because the focus is so much on the internal. So one person becoming changed and hopefully stronger might really screw things up for others. I suppose that’s about where the character arcs of all your other characters come into play – how they mesh, or don’t mesh, with one another.
Thinking about it, that’s what happens in my latest wip – the main ch defeats her inner demons *by destroying her sibling’s faith in themselves*. Which is kind of mean.
@Philippaeast No worries – I knew you didn’t mean that, but the mirroring between grief and this model caught my interest and made me wonder whether I was tying my depressive character’s progress to their plot in the right way. 🙂