Some of us break down and scrutinize our thoughts and actions, searching for motivations and causes and understanding. Sometimes this process is called “navel-gazing,” which I never really got as a cliche until I started doing yoga and realized that you literally gaze toward your navel now and then. Is this the origin of the phrase? Who knows. Well Google does.
No, no, don’t get up. I’ll get it. According to the grand internet, the answer is: maybe. Let’s contemplate that for a minute.
Just kidding! See what I did there? I was talking about deeply scrutinizing and–
What’s that, hypothetical reader? Yes, yes, you get it? Good. So as I was saying, some of us go for that kind of introspection, and some of us plow through life, never really considering any of those interior-kinds of things. And that’s important.
Why, hypothetical reader? I was getting to why, wasn’t that clear?
Yes, hypothetical reader, that last line did sound awfully Aunty Ida of me. I think she’s leaking again, but that’s not the point.
Just like there are people who endlessly analyze their thoughts and feelings, and people who never even conceive of doing so, fictional worlds have to be populated with all types. And interestingly, this character trait is one that will absolutely structure your plot.
Is your character a Hamlet-sized hesitater? Inaction, as Shakespeare taught us, can be just as heavy as action. Is she an unrepentant risk-taker? Danger, falling complications ahead!
Characters are just people who have never existed. To make them real, they should be as varied as the rest of us.
Check out my full-length novels, Her Cousin Much Removed, The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!