LilMaibe wrote:No, you can have character and therefore change development without having the character go out of character.
Have you read what I wrote? A character is Out Of Character the moment he does something uncharacteristical without any explanation.
You are talking about characters without any personality, characters that are less than tool. That isn't how you write a good character.
I tend to agree with this in general. Take Sam Vimes, for example. If you first read "Guards! Guards!" and then read "Thud!" without reading any of the intervening books, you might say that the Vimes of the latter book was "out of character" since the calculating, street-smart, in-control, powerful Vimes of "Thud!" bears almost no resemblance to the drunken, stupid, powerless Vimes of Guards! But the evolution of Vimes occurred over the course of the series (I'll opine that the first "modern" street-smart, class-aware, copper's-copper Vimes emerged in 'Feet of Clay'). A great author like Pterry logically adds depth to a character who starts off as a stock character by using the plot and adding expositional elements that make the character's transformation believable and satisfactory to readers--in other words, a 'good' out of character experience.
But, in his last two books, Pterry has made characters whose personas were firmly solidified act in ways that are very out of character. Vetinari is the best example of this. In both Unseen Academicals and Snuff he acted and spoke in ways that were totally out of character for someone from whom control is everything. The Vetinari of earlier books spoke sparingly, acted without emotion, chose his words carefully, and revealed as little about himself and his motivations as possible. The Vetinari of UA and Snuff is sentimental, highly emotional, easily distracted by trivial matters (the crossword puzzle lady? Reall?), verbose, and often incoherent in his speech. This, for some of us, is a 'bad' out of character experience.
But of course this is completely subjective. If you like the 'new' Vetinari, then it's a good transition for you.