As an author, I like to explore the many different aspects of humanity - the good and the evil, the light and the dark, reality and illusion. I do this through my characters and the roads they travel, both physical and psychological.
In one of my earlier novels, my character travels into a parallel world, one in which her every thought manifests itself in reality. Through the plot, the character learns about her own inner power and how to control her base emotions. In another story, my characters' journeys force them to examine sacrifice and the true cost of redemption. And in my current novel, the mc must travel through the fantasy of his sanity in order to understand the realities of his madness.
Yea, I'm a sucker for the psychological journeys we make as we grow into adulthood.
But how do I develop that arc? How do I enable that character to grow?
For me, it's all about the personal crises my characters must experience as they progress through the plot. I make my characters go beyond their personal breaking points. I challenge their belief systems and push them to that place beyond the reach of hope. It is in that place that they change. They evolve.
This is the ultimate journey all of my characters must take - the journey through chaos to enlightenment, regardless the cost.
What about you? How do your characters grow and develop? What journeys do they take? And what new perspectives to you bring your readers?