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Character Arc/Message

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I hear a lot about the importance of characters changing from the beginning of a story to the end, the need for conflict and tension or the need for an overall message and many more "must have's" in a story.

Is it ok to have a story that is fun to read for a kid?  I was re-reading Dragons Love Tacos, a fun book I think kids will laugh and want to read over and over and over again...what is the overall message for the book or the character arc?

Is it ok to write a humorous book that doesn't have some deep underlying meaning?  Thoughts?
#1 - September 09, 2021, 06:37 AM

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There are a lot of books without deep underlying messages and many without character arcs. But there should still be a story arc.

Think Monster at the End of This Book, no deep meaning, no character arc, but there is a story arc.

Without that, books are often one and done.
#2 - September 09, 2021, 07:55 AM

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I think David is right. Your story should have "levels" or an arc (even if it's really mild or simple), but not all stories have character arcs. If, however, you have a character-driven story, it probably needs a character arc (again, even if it's mild). The younger the story, the more mild the character arc can be.

But there are all kinds of story structures for PBs. This great post by Tammi Sauer delves into the topic. https://taralazar.com/2012/11/07/piboidmo-day-7-tammi-sauer/
#3 - September 09, 2021, 08:08 AM
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When I read your post, I thought of Press Here. As David says, it's fun, doesn't have a character arc, but it does have a story arc.

I am all in favor of fun. I wish you good luck.
#4 - September 09, 2021, 08:10 AM

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Character arcs make the story is more satisfying. Otherwise there's a 'so what?' type of a feeling. But does every book have to have a lesson? No. Here's another post about structure: https://picturebookbuilders.com/2021/08/pick-and-commit-choosing-a-picture-book-structure/
#5 - September 09, 2021, 11:38 AM
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