Each chapter in a novel shows a portion of a character’s development. The reader expects to take the journey of development with the MC.
Something happened in the past to get the character to this point and whatever they experience will change them.
The hidden – and revealed – past will affect how each character deals with the adversity they face.
If a character makes the same decision, in the same situation, and it still doesn't work then your character hasn’t learned. The reader will question if this is a journey they really want to take.
There should be no shocks for the reader. How the character deals with specific adversity should grow from the seeds you have planted concerning the character’s skills, personality traits and attitudes.
As your story develops so will the character.
Which situation will prompt the change?
6 LIFE ALTERING ELEMENTS
Whenever a character is placed in an unfamiliar location or situation they face displacement adversity. People thrust into an unfamiliar environment are unsettled - “Fish out of water” - characters take time to adapt.
When there is colossal miscommunication the character will - based on past experience or inexperience – have to change. This may not, initially, be a change for the better.
When lies are believed and the character views people or situations inappropriately, the writer can show how the character's development is altered - unsettling the MC's core values.
Internal or External Physical Adversity
Physical adversity – internal adversity such as injury or illness will promote change. External physical adversity such as a rapidly changing environment (storm, fire, water etc) even the threat of physical danger will drive the character to adapt and change. If they cannot adapt or change they will suffer the consequences.
All characters have wants and needs that start out unfulfilled. These desires can obvious and clearly described, others are more subconscious. Unfulfilled desire often drives character development.
Relationships are strengthen, or torn apart, by adversity. The relationships between characters must alter during the course of the novel.
Conflict drives the story forward.
Adversity drives the character development.
Jamais Vu is French and it literal means – NEVER SEEN. It is the opposite of the term déjà vu which means – already seen. To a person experiencing jamais vu, something which has been experienced on other occasions, or something familiar to them, now feels as if it is being experienced for the first time.
Jamais vu could be associated with types of epilepsy or amnesia – or the use, or misuse of magic. ;)
PLANNING TO BRING READERS ALONG ON THE JOURNEY?
Make the character admirable - someone who, when challenged, stays true to his beliefs
Give the character an injustice to challenge them
Provide opportunities for the character to develop the skills to fight the injustice (so there is a chance of success)
Write another character for them to care about
JUST HOW DO YOU FEEL?
Jaded, jaundiced, jealous, jovial, joyful, joyless, jubilant, judgmental, jumpy, justified