Is Character Change Always Necessary?

The first time I posted a query for critique for Miasma, the first question I got asked was, “What’s your character arc?  How does your character change?”


I didn’t have a character arc.  While the circumstances changed, the characters did not change.

“How can they not change?” the critiquer protested.

That I had to think about, too.  Was it a problem?  No, it was true of the kinds of books I like to read.

There’s comfort in getting a book in a series and having something expected.  When I bought a Clive Cussler book, I always knew I was going to get a cocky, patriotic character who would do the right thing because that’s was who he was.  That was part of the fun of those stories!

Conversely, some of the biggest failures in books for me as a reader have been when the character changed too much.  I came into the book expecting X type of character, and they changed out of that and into something that I didn’t buy the book for.

So … do you want change with that book or no change?  Tell, tell!