Write Your Novel Step by Step (Home Page)

Write Your Novel
Step by Step

By Melanie Anne Phillips
Creator of StoryWeaver

Click for Table of Contents

Read it free on our web site!

 Also available in Paperback
and for your Kindle

Free Resources


Home Mail: customer-service@storymind.com

Writing Software

Contact Us - About Us - Lowest Price Guarantee - Shipping - Return Policy

Copyright Melanie Anne Phillips - Owner, Storymind.com, Creator Storyweaver, Co-creator Dramatica

Write Your Novel
or Screenplay
Step by Step!


StoryWeaver Idea Spinner

Banish Writer’s

Block Forever!


Predicts Your Story’s Perfect Structure!



Index Cards


Throughline Articles on Writing Free Online Writing Classes in Streaming Video

Follow Us

Follow Us at Storymind.com Free Bonus Package The Writer's Survival Kit Bonus Package 12 Hour Story Structure Class Learn Story Structure

Our Free 113 Part Writing Course in
Streaming Video


of Story


Our Free 3 Hour
Audio Program

Secrets of Story Structure Introduction to Structure

Free 2 Hour Video
Covers the Basics

Movie Magic Screenwriter - Formats while you write!


Automatically formats while
you write!

Write Your Novel Step By Step Write Your Novel Step by Step (Home Page)

Our Free 200 Page
eBook is filled
with our Best Tips

Free Book - 50 Sure-Fire Storytelling Tricks! Master the Art of Storytelling

With Our Free
50 Sure-Fire
Storytelling Tricks!

Dramatica Writer's DreamKit


Writer’s DreamKit

~ Step 115 ~

Characters - Act Two Middle

Growth doesn't happen overnight.  It is an ongoing progression.  The second act establishes an initial nature of growth in the beginning, then sets a second point in the middle.  Your readers will use those two points to draw a line and get a sense of the direction of growth.

You have an interesting choice in the middle of act two.  Do you want to tell your reader/audience the truth about your characters, or do you want to mislead them?

Now, it's a golden rule that you absolutely NEVER want to lie to your audience.  Your readers give you their absolute trust, and if you violate it, they will pull away from your story completely.  But, that doesn't mean you can't fib to them once in a while.  The key is to not let them in on the trick too soon!

You've all read stories where a character we initially thought was a good guy says something so that we absolutely know he's really up to no good.  What a cop-out!  From that point forward, any surprise is gone, and all we have left is waiting for the moment the other characters figure it out (though they must be pretty stupid not to have seen it already).

If an author can't keep the secret, he or she shouldn't try in the first place.  Better to just let the bad guys be bad guys, right from the get-go.

Keeping secrets has its own set of problems.  Essentially, you have to have a reasonable explanation for everything that happens, then create a second set of actual reasons for why they happened, once you reveal a character was motivated differently than we thought.

Of course, there's a middle ground between having a character be straight-forward, or turning around 180 degrees.  Usually people grow linearly, or a long a curve.  Or, they stay on course, but outside pressure builds until they snap for better or worse.

So here in the middle of act two, consider that while you need to have your characters grow in some manner to prevent them from stagnating, there are a variety of ways that different characters might grow.

For this step, refer to the material you developed for character growth in act two, plus what you've already assigned to the beginning of act two.  Then describe for each of your characters how you'll create a sense of direction to the growth of your characters, their roles, and relationships in the middle of act two.