The 7am Novelist
The 7am Novelist
Day 39: Character & Story Arcs with Patricia Park & Jennifer De Leon

Day 39: Character & Story Arcs with Patricia Park & Jennifer De Leon

Our First Fifty-Day Writing Challenge

One of the best ways to hold up the middle of your book is to concentrate on arcs: the rise and fall of your characters’ internal and external worlds, the worlds of your other characters, as well as other arc possibilities: setting, mystery, theme, and much more. To help us think through tracing these arcs are authors Jennifer De Leon and Patricia Park.

Also referenced in this episode: Benjamin Percy’s Thrill Me and Matthew Salesses’ Craft in the Real World. Find these and my other fave craft books and books by our guests on our bookshop page:

Patricia Park is the author Re Jane, a modern-day retelling of Brontë’s Jane Eyre named The New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, NPR "Fresh Air" pick, American Library Association Best Books, and others. Her debut YA novel, Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim, is forthcoming in February, 2023. A former Fulbright scholar, Edith Wharton Writer-in-Residence, and Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, she has written for The New York Times, New Yorker, Guardian, and others. She is a professor of creative writing in American University’s MFA Program. She is also working on an adult novel about the Koreans in Argentina during the Dirty War. Twitter/Instagram: @patriciapark718 

Jennifer De Leon is the author of the YA novel Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From (published by Simon & Schuster) and White Space: Essays on Culture, Race, and Writing (winner of the Juniper Prize and published by the University of Massachusetts Press), and the editor of the award-winning anthology, Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education (published by the University of Nebraska Press). She is currently the Visiting Writer in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at UMass Boston and the founder of Story Bridge LLC, a series of programs and workshops that bridge storytelling and DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging). Her next novel, Borderless, will be published by Simon & Schuster in April 2023. Visit her at 


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