I’ve recently watched Me Before You(*spoiler alert* a reminder, this is not a romance as there is no happy ever after). At the beginning of the movie, Lou Clark has put all her own dreams or plans of the future on hold as she waits out her life in a teashop. Boom, cue the inciting incident** – she loses her job. What to do? She finds a job taking care of wheelchair bound Will, which leads to the meet cute.**
All of that aside, the Lou we meet at the beginning of the movie is not the same as the Lou by the end. This is the character arc, the development of the character over the course of the events of the novel. Sometimes, the character does not change, and a devastating example of that is in Manchester by the Sea(definitely not a romance). In romance, however, we want and need our character and their love interest to grow over the course of the novel.
Key things to remember on writing up your character arc:
By the end of Me Before You, Lou is no longer the naïve Lou she once was, and has accepted that not everything can be ‘fixed’ But, she has broadened her horizons and is visiting Paris, echoing Will’s footsteps.
** Inciting incident, dark night of the soul, meet cute? You’ll find about those and more in Have you lost the plot?
There’s a fine line between being a redeemable jerk and just being a jerk. But, how can you tell?
I’ve read a couple of MSs that crash and burn into the ‘complete dickhead’ category. Here’s some quick tips to keep in mind when writing about the Alphahole:
Want to know more about how to write great characters? Sign up for the HOW TO WRITE A ROMANCE online course.
HEA ROMANCE WRITING
Everything you need to know to write your own happily ever after.