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Cheryl, it’s subscription based, but there’s a 2-week trial version you can use to try it out. The site was created by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, authors of The Emotion Thesaurus and its variants. Besides the Character Builder, it has Scene Maps, Timelines, Story Maps, Thesauruses, Idea Generator, Worldbuilding, Worksheets, and Tip Sheets. And you can save everything you do in My Workspace. You can subscribe for 1 month for $9, 6 months for $50, or 1 year for $90.

I originally got it for the thesauruses (even though I have the books), but I tended to forget about it until I needed something. Then they came out with the Character Builder and that caught my interest. It really makes you think about the people in your story because it’s broken down.

Here’s one of my character arcs. After reading over it, I saw that I needed to make some changes to her, but I can go back and do that anytime.
<p style=”text-align: left;”> CHANGE ARC BLUEPRINT
My character was hurt as a result of Having parents who favored one child over another (Wound). In the aftermath, they internalized this hurt and may even believe it happened in part due to their poor choices or because they are somehow defective, unworthy or weak (Disempowering Beliefs). The spiral of negative thinking and/or mistrust is what led them to believe that Nothing they do is good enough (The Lie). This lie, the fear of being hurt again, and the character’s resulting decisions and actions caused a deficit in the area of a vital human need: Love and Belonging.</p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”>
The unmet need either leads to a critical problem that must be solved or it creates a hole of dissatisfaction, which, over time, has grown into a deep, painful void that they can no longer ignore. The desire to meet this need becomes my character’s Inner Motivation and pushes them to pursue a goal of AVOIDING CAPTURE (Outer Motivation) or more specifically: To avoid becoming a government lab rat, she must avoid and defeat the Trappers.</p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”>
In my character’s circumstances, the yearning for Love and Belonging (Unmet Need) specifically means they want To feel part of a family. This and what will happen if they do not act – Her life and the lives of her friends are at stake (The Stakes) – push them onward.</p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”>
To achieve this goal, the character will face many obstacles, but the biggest comes from within: the Fatal Flaw, which is their dysfunctional go-to approach for solving life’s problems. (The fatal flaw has a Mental Component and a Behavioral Component).</p>
<p style=”text-align: left;”>
Until now, this flawed approach to navigating life’s challenges seems to have worked for the character, but in the case of this goal, it does not. In fact, it is tripping them up and making the goal harder to obtain. Once the character recognizes this fact, they can choose a better way to approach their problems. This, along with the internal growth achieved by working through past trauma in a healthy way, will allow them to succeed.</p>

Mona Enderli
w/a Merit Fynn


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