Character Development

There are two different ways in which characters develop in written texts and in film. A character that begins in one state and simply improves as the text progresses undergoes additive change.

Transformational change describes a character that begins in one state and is completely changed as a result of his or her experiences in the story. An audience relates strongly to these characters by observing their reactions to their lived experiences in a text. Characters’ reactions to their circumstances contribute to the audience’s sense of the characters’ development. As in real life, some characters choose to respond to their circumstances by changing and by transforming while others may choose to reject the opportunity to transform.

With plausible characters, their journey towards transformation may not be pretty. Setbacks accompany successes, as they do in real life.

Use the visual to review the basic stages in the process of tracing a character's transformational change. Consider how characters transform in texts.
Tracing a Character's Transformational Change

Courtesy of ADLC