01 July 2020

Falling Flat

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I mentioned in my last post that I was having some health issues, but I got everything checked out and it's all good. Not really sure what was causing my head pain but it seems to have gotten better on its own. I have a few theories, including having to wear a mask for eight hours in a hot kitchen or maybe my hair is just too long. But I digress...

Getting back in to writing is still pretty difficult. I was doing a lot of editing just to be doing SOMETHING. Mostly getting rid of unnecessary and overused words. I know a big project is to rewrite Chapter 27, so I'll probably get to that soon. But the ending of the book still doesn't feel quite right. 

I've been trying to figure out character arcs. As I've learned more about them (thanks to a book we read for the IWSG book club!) I've felt that UL has more of a flat arc. I say "more of" because, well...it still doesn't feel quite right. Maybe that's part of my problem? But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

One of the main aspects of the flat arc is that the main character doesn't change, but changes the world and other people around him. This is where I think UL fits in the most (with some exceptions, but more on that in a bit). By the end of the book, Jordan is pretty much in the same spot he was in the beginning. The last line of the book really hammers that home. 

The only exception would be one of the subplots, which definitely has its own arc, and this one's positive. I guess the discord is partly coming from the idea that in the subplot, Jordan does go through changes and ends up in a better spot than the beginning of the book. I think this can still work even with a flat arc in the main plot. He's changed in some ways, ways he actually always knew he needed to change. But in some ways, he hasn't changed at all. 

I guess where I'm struggling is the idea of a character's "truth." In a flat arc, the main character already believes a truth and uses that to overcome the world's lie. My problem here is that all I can really come up with is that Jordan's truth is, "I can get whatever I want if I try hard enough/manipulate people in just the right way." The "lie" would be something like, "society has rules that need to be followed." Which isn't really a "lie," right? Or maybe in the context of this book, it is, because Jordan knows he can get around rules to get what he wants. He's a bit of an antihero, so his truth isn't going to be some righteous quest that's going to change the world, after all. 

Am I answering my own questions? Maybe I just want someone else to tell me that this actually does work. I'm going to try to map it out, either way, and see if that sparks any ideas or changes.