Normally, I know the plot of a story first. Then I lay over that plot the main character’s character change arc. These two steps happen so close together, there’s not really a delay between developing the plot and the character change arc. With my current project, however, I did not have the plot figured out. I only knew the essence of what needed to happen.
To solve my dilemma, I set the plot aside and concentrated on the main character’s character change arc. Once I knew how the character would change, I returned to built a plot to support that change.
Over the years, I’ve studied many resources about character change arcs and feel comfortable with them, but to help with my current effort, I decided to review and refresh my thinking. I reread K.M. Weiland’s article series How to Write Character Arcs.
I was amazed how that gave me insights and ideas about my characters and the story plot. More details are still to be developed as I outline, but I’m excited about where the story is going.