Do you ever catch yourself thinking about the implications of a seemingly insignificant decision? Not just directly, but how each affect could spiral into millions of effects? It can be mind boggling to consider.
I'll confess to something...I'm regularly told what a good listener I am, and I'm not at all. My mind wanders. I think about motivations, consequences. My thoughts fly off into the worst possible direction. Disaster. Chaos. What would everyone do, how would it feel?
Maybe it's just because I like to torture myself, I don't know. But when I write, I pull from these thoughts. These random snatches of conversation that fueled so much more than a "The weather sure is nice" response from my brain.
I also like to sit and think about my characters this way. I know what happens next in the story, yes, but what would have happened if they had chosen another path? Do they wish they had? Do they ever wonder?
Maybe this is all a bunch of garbled nonsense because I'm tired and have to be up in five hours for work. (Yes, I'm writing this ahead of time. ;) Although I waited until the last moment to do so. lol)
Each of our lives have evolved to where they are through a complicated web of decisions. Choices. Seemingly insignificant points in our lives that can change our entire future. My future changed with a phone call, a cancellation. Along with a couple, again insignificant, choices and I wound up meeting the man that would become my husband...the man that would turn my whole world upside down and shake it like a snow globe.
Can you find the moments where your characters became who they are? It may be something huge...a tragic event. Or it may be something as simple as a phone call. Something your story never even mentions. But do you know what it is?
If not, maybe you should find it. Truly knowing your characters gives more than life to your story...it gives it soul.