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Lesson: Character and Theme 1: Basic Story Arc and Characters

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Simply stated, the theme of a story is the point the author is trying to get across. What does your story say about life? It can be a simple, open-ended theme. For example, the theme could be about humor. The author could be trying to remind everyone to have fun in life, and try to help them along by making them laugh or giving them good ideas to have fun in recreation. Or it can be a more complicated concept like trying to convey a point that makes the reader realize that over-automation can lead to killer results for those who rely too much on technology.


An author should have a good idea of how their characters would react to any situation. Their characters should have unique reactions to each situation, some varied, some nuanced. Getting into small details of a character's personality takes a lot of time and in-depth thought. This usually happens organically and it's good to keep a word doc with character info that you can easily access and jot in notes about your characters.

Let's start very generally with the definition of a character, in terms of a comic's theme. A character's story is often described as a through-line. The through-line is the characters journey. How does the character change from the beginning of the story to the end of the story? The change the character goes through should convey the story's theme.

Lesson 1

  1. Simply state your story's theme.
  2. Analyze how you plan to demonstrate this viewpoint with a basic story arc.
  3. Choose three characters from this story and detail how they will change from beginning to end.
  4. Compare these characters' through-lines to the comic's theme and explain how their journey demonstrates your theme.

Start a new topic to complete this lesson. Ask any questions you have about the lesson in the topic you start. You can always update the first post with new ideas or changes to your lesson's answer. Have fun! :grin:

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