Character growth is an essential part of any good story.
As writers, it helps if we view our characters as children. They come to us incomplete and not well versed in the ways of the world. Perhaps they lack in a crucial area, such as people skills or talent. Perhaps they are prisoners of their environment. Quite often they begin with personal challenges, hang-ups and inconsistencies.
As the story progresses, our characters start to change. Their hearts grow and they develop a greater capacity for emotion. Perhaps challenges force them to become stronger or bolder. Maybe the situations in their life cause them to question what they thought they knew. Often they become like gangly teenagers, stumbling and failing and struggling to find their place in life.
By the end of our tale, those characters grow up. Like a caterpillar to a butterfly, they are changed creatures. Hopefully for the best, although sometimes the growth is not considered positive. But regardless of the direction, the characters are different and this growth is unmistakable.
And we hope that by experiencing this transformation through our characters, our readers will come away changed as well!
Okay, maybe not THAT changed!