From Bad To Good
Question: Just like I said in my previous question, I'm writing a book that takes place in an apocalyptic era. I have a character question though. How can I turn a bad person into a good one? The character I'm referring to isn't the book's antagonist, it's the protagonist's sidekick. Even though he's loyal to him, the sidekick is a ruthless and uncaring person. How can I change him so he eventually becomes a more caring person? A thanks in advance, your site is awesome!Answer:
Well, it sounds like you will have to map out an arc for this character as well.
If he is going to change, it may be that he needs to do one of the following...
* Realize that something better is attainable if he changes (for instance, if he falls in love with a good person, or sees the chance for a brighter future).
* Realize his current approach isn't working. For instance, it is only getting him misery while he sees other people enjoying better results from taking different approaches.
* Heal from a trauma that caused him to become ruthless and uncaring (perhaps it was the only way to survive at the time).
* See someone close to him suffer a terrible fate because this person chose to be ruthless and uncaring.
* Have an eye-opening epiphany.
* Realize he will lose something of value if he doesn't change.
So his arc will go something like...
1. Show how is is a ruthless and uncaring person.
2. Things happen that pressure him to change (perhaps he gets in touch with his past, or forms a new relationship, has a disturbing experience, or sees a new possibility, etc.).
3. He has a moment of crisis when he must choose to give up his current approach.
4. He reaps the rewards for making the change. He is happier, resolved, in a better place, etc.
Best of luck.