Every Sunday, the feature SHANNON MUIR’S MYSTERY OF CHARACTER on SHANNON MUIR’S THE PULP AND MYSTERY SHELF focuses on the art and craft of writing from Shannon’s perspective, or gives you insight on her process as an author.   This week’s topic continues on how character arcs can flow over the three act structure as commonly used in film, including mystery and crime film.  Usually my columns talk about prose writing, but I also have background in scriptwriting, with some produced credits in animation. This got me to think about how character development can evolve different for mystery and crime films, which are broken down traditionally into three act structures. So, for the next three columns, I’m going to share my thoughts in character development in film as it pertains to mysteries and crime over a series of three columns, each corresponding to an act. This week, we take a look at the final act… Act Three. Act Three involves resolutions. This is not only resolving who committed a crime, but resolving any character threads. Whether or not this actually brings changes in character behavior largely rests on if the character in question is an archetype (a character type based on certain classic expectations), or a complex character designed to grow and change. Until next week, Shannon

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