Using The Opening & Ending Lines To Mirror Your Protagonist’s Arc

Whether your protagonist undergoes a Positive Change arc or a Negative Change arc, one way you can show how much they’ve changed is through the opening and ending lines of your novel.

The opening lines of my historical WIP Finnegan’s Valley are…rather dark, to be honest:

Catherine O’Reilly wanted to die. Other times, she wanted to kill her father, if only so she could finally be spared the pain of being unloved and unwanted.


I warned ya. These lines capture three things: Catherine’s situation, her hatred for her father, and her desire to be loved. True, there may be a few more desires in there, but her strongest desire, even if she hasn’t recognized or admitted it yet, is to be loved.

(*starts humming ‘Someday, My Prince Will Come‘*)

You could also use the lines at the beginning of the Midpoint to reflect how your protagonist is changing. My goal for the Midpoint of Finnegan’s Valley is to show Catherine has begun warming up to her new situation.

The closing lines will reflect how your protagonist has changed throughout the story and is no longer the same as they were in the beginning.


Tell me your thoughts below!

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