The characters of a novel need to change throughout the novel.  This change or transformation is called the arc.  This change may be for the better or for the worse, but it must be.  And it must be manifested through the characters’ actions, decisions and dialogue. Thus, the golden rule of writing fiction:  Show, don’t tell.  In Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees, Silvia puts her clothes away in her old dresser at her father’s house instead of in the orange crates in which she’s been keeping them.   By putting her clothes away in her old dresser, she is showing that she feels more at home at her father’s house than she had previously felt, and that his house is starting to feel less like his house and more like her home.  As Donna breaks free of Frank, she decides that she doesn’t want to go to the family reunion because she doesn’t want to be in the same room with him.  Vince talks to Doug at the dinner because he has learned, from Silvia, that being antagonistic towards his brother-in-law is in vain.  These changes have all come about as a result of what the characters have experienced and learned throughout the story.