An article I read the other day talked of core values and how these values are developed as we grow. Usually by adulthood we tend to think our values are pretty well set ~ most of us have a core center of wanting to do good, not bad. Most of my characters have similar traits, yet I try to write them into situations where their values are challenged.
In my current WIP, my werewolf is under duress and pretty much out of it. He is blind, or so he thinks. As he heals he finally realizes the beings who he has befriended are soulless and a natural enemy he should destoy without thought or remorse. His purpose as a werewolf to destroy evil has blurred and he is left pondering his dilemma. He wonders if these beings can change their ways and turn toward good or was he simply not a big enough threat for them to worry about. He doesn't know what is right anymore.
P.C. Cast with her House of Night series has one of her evil characters facing a core value change as well. Stevie Rae saves a raven mocker from death. These beings were born for one thing - distruction. The raven mocker, Rephaim, has never known compassion, never experienced help from another. He is the first son of a powerful demon. His life's purpose is well defined; it does not include friendship of any kind. For the first time he has the opportunity to stray beyond the narrow path his father set before him. His core values have been irrevocably altered.
If and when a character's core values are challenged, as a writer you have created the best and most vulnerable aspect of your work. It's time to let your character move freely. Your simple plot ideas may only be the pinnacle of a deeper, more meaningful story.
I'd very much enjoy hearing about your characters and their core value changes.
Til next time ~