Deconstruction is not development. Put characters back together. Put them back different, but don’t leave them shattered.
#I haven’t decided if I agree with this yet #thoughts?
I think if you think about character development in the sense of “a character changes from where they were at the beginning,” then this is not true.
If you think about it in the sense of “a character GROWS from where they were at the beginning,” then it is.
So like most writing things, it depends upon interpretation and goals. I mean, I personally get upset with most books that leave the characters broken because it rarely feels either justified or satisfying. But that’s just my personal taste. Some people get upset with character-gets-put-back-together storylines because they feel it’s a cop-out or not realistic. Really depends on what you like!
Character development isn’t the same as character growth. That’s why you can have tragedies with amazing character development and outstanding storylines but that doesn’t make the characters stagnant. Some people end up miserable. It’s realistic. Not everyone learns to be happy in the end.
Oooh, that’s a great point. If we say tragic characters aren’t developed, Shakespeare will rise from his grave and get blood all over his fluffy white collar stabbing us with his quill pen.
I just remembered I was talking about this with my students when we were discussing static and dynamic characters. How a character can change for the worse but still be dynamic. I used supervillain origin stories as an example.
So like, I didn’t say it well, but if you think of development=growth, then this is true, but if development=change, then it isn’t true. Depends on your interpretation of development!