Character Growth in a Series

We all work to develop our characters, to help them grow throughout a novel. When it comes to a series, that growth must be done over a longer period of time, in order for the reader to see maturity developing and the character taking on greater challenges.

How does one grow a character?

There are the usual methods, of the individual going through tests or challenges and learning from them. This usually satisfies the reader. However, if you have a character who is proud of certain characteristics and refuses to give them, even though everyone around him/her feels they’re juvenile, you are faced with a greater challenge.

In the Canoples Investigations series, my characters grow somewhat from book to book, but the guys have trouble maintaining that growth. They’re teens, seventeen and soon to be eighteen, so they’ll have moments of reversion. It’s part of who they are; teens who dive into trouble without thinking out the consequences. Yet, now that they’re going into their fifth novel, BD, Carl, Cassie, and Terry have to become more responsible. They’re taking on a sacred duty—showing three other younger teens how to be investigators. With the addition of Corina, LaTisha, and Kathe from the Secret Society adventure, the original members of Canoples Investigations must show these girls how to do the job right. That’s not to say BD will fully settle down. He’s the guy women admire for his tenacity and dedication to getting the job done, but also wonder if he’ll ever grow up.

The question of how to make BD grow up will come later in the series, when he’s forced into a position where he has to make nice with politicians and do things he loathes. Yet, he’ll still somehow maintain some of his irritating yet endearing qualities.

Remember, no one wants to see a character that stagnates in growth in a series. They need to grow and mature, be able to handle situations in a more mature manner as the series progresses.

About the K.C. Sprayberry

Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.

She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair game when plotting a new story.

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