Lol, real-life trickles in on me sometimes. Now that I’m thinking of the transformational arc again, I’ve been wondering about people who don’t seem to have “any” motivation, and just walk out the door, brain out of gear and react all day long.
Not really a static arc, because they’re not unchanging, but obviously not going anywhere. A random factor?
Random factors work really well for certain kinds of stories where you want your quirky Uncle Fred to talk about the time he was in Texas and ate corned beef, or discuss light bulbs. Which leads me to believe people like Fred are walk-ons. The real-life equivalent of quick character sketches.
They don’t really “need” an arc, or to be fully fleshed, because they’re built shallow. Each element is given equal measure because nothing has happened in their lives to create a core event.
Although maybe I need to back that up--some people don’t have a “recognizable” core event, because their core events were so small all they did was steer the course of a life, like a rock thrown into a stream changes the flow just enough to create a change but not enough to make it overflow its banks or find a new stream bed.
A good example of that would be the person who does moderately okay in school and gets a moderately okay job because they haven't figured out what to do yet. But…they’re okay with that. And years pass, watching series television, hanging out with friends, going to work, maybe a couple of beers on Friday night.
Thoreau said, Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them. But some people never develop a song, or have only the barest note before covering themselves up like a termite, content passing each day much like the day before. The old curse says, “May you live in interesting times” and it might be that they’re waiting for something to happen, but it could be that some people sail through life until the boat docks and they get off.