I often use those words and yet, they may have lost some of their meaning along the way. To be really grateful for what someone has done, doesn’t it mean that their act will stay in your mind for a while, should I not dwell on this act of kindness that I have thanked them for?
I guess there are, in fact, many levels to the simple line. If a stranger holds open a door, I thank them kindly and mean what I say and it’s true that in some ways that act does follow me through the day. I will feel a lift in mood and how I react to stressful situations may greatly differ to what I would have acted like, had that unknown person not opened that door. But yet it doesn’t stick with me, I am not thinking over it.
To take a larger example would be to say I’m thankful for my husband’s support and love; this can have little to no meaning however if I am not acting this way. Words alone do not show the depths of gratitude and I will often be drawn to doing some act or other (such as baking), just to show my husband I’m grateful.
Too often though, the things people do go un-noticed. I have friends who work hard to help their friends; they give time, money and effort to help and yet, in my opinion, they are often undervalued and un-thanked as people just expect it of them now. It’s just who they are. No. People do wonderful things by choice and those choices deserve at least a five second response of thanks.
With all this depth to the word gratitude, I have been inspired to think about my characters in my WIP. How have my characters shown a depth or roundness to themselves? Do they interact with the world around them?
More importantly, how does the world interact with them? Is there a day when a simple smile or opened door gives a boost of joy? I often get so taken away by writing the main dramatic events that my work reads like a dull journal, to inject some life I could perhaps try and make sure there is some sort of give and take between characters and their world.
Just as complex and original each mind is, shouldn’t my characters also be?
What do you think? Should characters always be complex with depth and a detailed interaction with the world around them?
How do you create an in depth, 3D, character?