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14

This is a big, important question. After all characters must be distinct and unique or else they are no longer characters, but rather bland, amorphous machines whose actions can only be explained by a need to advance the plot. On the other hand, characters changing and growing is vital to plot; otherwise why do we the reader care about them? Sidenote here, ...


5

No matter how much real or fictional people grow, they never become perfect. That's one of those observations that simultaneously seems impossible and obvious: obvious because no-one is ever perfect, and impossible because how do they keep finding new imperfections that need work? My own experience - in myself, in people I've known, in people I've known of, ...


4

DISCLAIMER: I won't say tl;dr, but I will say Too long; I skimmed. Love your thoroughness though. A few ideas of mine (take or leave): You could spread out when each character has their "AHA" moment. Maybe one guy has improved himself fundamentally, but this only deepens the core flaw of his girlfriend because of their dynamic. She'll have to wait longer ...


2

I think you're on the right track with the "compensating" for their flaws, in combination with actual growth. As for compensation, this can be external factors. Look at the character of Alexander Hamilton from the musical Hamilton. This is a character that "leaps before he looks" and needs to learn to wait for the right moment like the antagonist of the ...


1

Re-think your format: If you keep writing 'situations' but you aren't sure where they are suppose to go next, maybe the situation itself is the story, and it's better suited for a short-format that explores that moment, leaving the possibilities open for the reader to imagine. This doesn't sound like what you want, but maybe you are a great short-story ...


1

I am not a discovery writer. I am a retired software engineer who plans and plans some more. Thus, my advice might not apply to your situation. Good engineering practice requires the engineer to look at a project from several viewpoints. What are the requirements and does the software/mechanism/building/freeway satisfy each of those requirements? How well ...


1

Something no one has brought up yet is that many character "flaws" are in some contexts adaptive and useful. Someone who is brash but improved may still be more likely to take action when others are hesitating at a time when quick action is optimal. A recovered jerk may be more likely to speak up at someone else being abusive than would someone more used to ...


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