The Concept of Main Character Growth

Whether a Main Character eventually changes its nature or remains steadfast, it will still grow over the course of the story. This growth has a direction. Either it will grow into something (Start) or grow out of something (Stop).

As an example we can look to Scrooge from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Does Scrooge need to change because he is excessively miserly (Stop), or because he lacks generosity (Start)? In the Dickens’ story it is clear that Scrooge’s problems stem from his passive lack of compassion, not from his active greed. It is not that he is on the attack, but that he does not actively seek to help others. So, according to the way Charles Dickens told the story, Scrooge needs to Start being generous, rather than Stop being miserly.

A Change Main Character grows by adding a characteristic it lacks (Start) or by dropping a characteristic it already has (Stop). Either way, its make up is changed in nature.

A Steadfast Main Character’s make up, in contrast, does not change in nature. It grows in its resolve to remain unchanged. It can grow by holding out against something that is increasingly bad while waiting for it to Stop. It can also grow by holding out for something in its environment to Start. Either way, the change appears somewhere in its environment instead of in it.

Excerpted from
Dramatica Pro Story Development Software