In dystopias, you can't avoid the fact that your protagonist is going to be changed from their experience. Not only this, but it's important for them to change for good character development to happen. However, how do you write good character development without completely changing your character?
- My character has a good sense of humour, sometimes sarcastic and sometimes almost childlike. Her quirkiness and humour is a key part of her character. From what I've read about certain types of trauma, it can be hard to maintain humour afterwards, but if I take it away, wouldn't that change her too much?
- My character is an optimist and tries to make light of most situations. She also has a huge moral compass. Again, they are huge aspects in her character. Obviously, going through some pretty traumatic events would probably cause her to be not so optimistic as well as changing some moral views. Same problem as above.
- Just an example from a well known book; Katniss Everdeen was always serious and intent on both her own and other's survival. Although by the end she does come out scarred and broken, you can still recognise her as the same character, just with huge character development. How do I manage that?
Traumatic experiences will inherently cause a character to act and think differently, potentially even changing views and personalities. But I still want my protagonist to be recongnisable as the character introduced at the beginning of the book, even if she is more mature, wiser and probably traumatised. But if her key characteristics all seem to be obliterated by her expeience, wouldn't she basically be a different person?
(That's something I don't want. Character development - yes. New character - no.)