Change Arc - K.M Weiland

The Positive Arc

This is the most popular and often the most resonant character arc. The protagonist will start out with varying level of personal unfulfillment and denial. Over the course of the story, she will be forced to challenge her beliefs about herself and the world, until finally she conquers her inner demons (and, as a result, probably her outer antagonists as well) and ends her arc having changed in a positive way.

The Flat Arc

Many popular stories feature characters who are already essentially complete unto themselves. They’re already heroes and don’t require any noticeable personal growth to gain the inner strength to defeat the external antagonists. These characters experience little to no change over the course of the story, making their arcs static of “flat”. Sometimes, these characters are the catalysts for change in the story world around them, so that we find more prominent growth arcs in the minor characters.

The Negative Arc

Negative character arcs offer, arguably, more variations that either of the other arcs. However, at their most basic level, the Negative Arc is just a Change Arc flipped on its head. Instead of a character who grows out of his faults into a better person, the Negative Arc presents a character who ends up in a worse state than that in which he began the story.