So, I've been having this headache for the past month trying to figure out (trial and error wise) my main characters... well character. The problem is a consequense of the plot really. Inavoidable from my point of view. I'll try to explain as much as I can. The plot is a crime - mystery in its core, but the mood is a mix of things (meaning that it will have it's dramatic moments but it's humorous moments as well) depending on the situation and interactions of the characters. Most of the characters will be kind of ballanced in their signifficance in the story because offcourse I want many suspects and not dead give-aways. And I'm also a fan of psychology so I invest on my characters as much as I invest on a good plot and storytelling. By the way, third person that is. The problem is that of my "main" character. He is a person who is hiding his true identity due to reach his goal and also the avenger. So in order to find his culprit he ends up climbing up sectas into the mob world, but he is also an informant (against his will) to the police. He also plays on double table as an informant to two different mob organizations that are on the brink of war. So he is something like a spy with his own secret agenda. A master manipulator. But at some point, as the plot unfolds and I'm starting to reveal some of his backstory in order to justify his position (also lead to him), I have to describe a huge transformation he's been through. Short backstory long: A young misfit happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, something really dramatic happens and he ends up psychologically traumatised, but really messed up. He is unable to communicate at all for sometime (I think the right condition is described as catatonia), until he meets someone who helps him reform himself, but this is a process that takes time. Atleast a year. And even so, his environment is also changed after the shocking event so, he can't turn back as to being the person he used to be. He is consumed by revenge. He gets his plan into action about five years after the dramatic incident. So, as you can see, I have to describe the transformation from a) the man he is today (a developing character as he tries to reach the top) b) to the naive, cocky youngster he used to be c) to the traumatised person he got to be d) to the reformed person that ended up an avenger. Another nice way of putting it is transforming a victim into a villain. What I am afraid of, is that maybe this complexity of his character might make him feel "fake" and "convenient" to the reader. I've tried searching for refferences or books that deal with likewise character developments, but found none. The characters usually tend to grow through their stories but they don't change. Meaning, Harry Poter from book 1, is the same as Harry in book 7. His ideals, his personality stays the same. Can you suggest any ideas or refferences for that matter? Another important issue is the way that I'm revealing the backstory. In order not to make it obvious that he is the person we are looking for, his backstory starts unfolding as hints from a police investigation that are under his tracks. Although he works as an informant for them, they don't really know everything there is to know about him. So, that has as a result that most of the backstory should be revealed close to the end and in a non-flash-back way as possible. This actually is a personal prefference. I don't like straight-forward flash backs. I'm thinking that it will manifest in a confession maybe of some sort, when he finally loses his cover. Although I'd love to hear some ideas on that matter. How would you handle the flash backs? Sorry for the long post and I thank you if you read it, even more if you take the time to think about it and answer it. I know it's a long one but I can't think of shorter way to express it. From my POV, I'm stepping on a very experimental ground with this story, because I never read anything like what I'm writting and this makes me more enthousiastic about it but also very much uneasy. Mostly I've been trying to solve riddles than I actually write so I want this so badly to work. Thank you again.