The term "character development" can be used in literary contexts to refer to the way in which a written character is described and fleshed out, or it can be used in social contexts to refer to the development of good moral character. People who have good moral character are considered to be good, upright people.
Most frequently, the term "character development" refers to the process writers put in to shaping and forming the characters in their writing. This includes factors like appearance, personality, occupation, social class, goals, mental state, family and friends, profession and all other elements that make a character unique and individually identifiable. This is an essential element in storytelling. Character development can also refer to the process of growing into a person with a strong sense of morals and duty. Institutions like the United States Air Force Academy are particularly concerned with character development in their students. Good moral character is considered an essential element of a military officer.