I read your post about why redemptive arcs for rascist are bullshit, and I agree wholeheartedly, but your pointers made me realize that I'm possibly comminting a similar mistake with a war story and a relationship (not romantic btw) between victim of a war zone and a someone indirectly responsible for it as a child soldier (they'll grow from their late teens to their twenties in-universe) I mean nowhere in my story will the war be justified or anything, but do you have any pointers or advice?
Write it. And don’t let your main character off of the hook for what they’ve done.
The biggest flaw in these redemption arcs is that the character’s actions are excused too easily. I think a lot of people took that to mean you should never write a redemption arc (that wasn’t my intent in writing the post and I failed at that). It was more about how the idea of a redemption arc is often used by white authors in Western countries to make themselves feel better for past racism. Which is why they so often fail: because the main character never really has to face the things they’ve done/propagated. There’s always a moment where the character does a complete 180 degree personality turn, realizes the error of their ways, and all of the oppressed people in the story shower the character with rose petals and forgiveness.
It’s completely a douche ex machina moment and it always feels forced.
As long as your characters are forced to reckon with their choices (and choices made as a child are very different than those made as a teen or adult), then you should be able to tell a story that isn’t about centering the feelings of oppressors.