Lots of numbers. And then more numbers.
If Math were a guy, we'd be dating. He might even be meeting my parents.
Which is why it's lovely to play with words again.
Rachelle Gardner had a great post about proactive or re-active characters. I realized that in the beginning of the novel I'm working on, it's easy for me to let my MC fall into a reactive position. (No surprise to the Slushies- we've discussed this.) Now, part of that is because the story begins with my MC trapped in a completely new life. It can be hard to be active when your world's been upended. Sometimes, there's a period when you're just trying to get your bearings.
However, I think I've found a way to think about internal action. edittorrent had a great post on the layers of a character, using astrology as an example. I don't know diddly about astrology, but the idea is that each person has three aspects to them.
There's the sun sign, which represents their "core personality" and basic traits. I concentrate most often on this part of a character.
But then comes the interesting stuff. The ... (I'm looking back at the post- you really should read it.)
.... rising sign. This is what others notice about your character- first, second impressions. It also includes the persona your character wants others to see.
Then, finally, there's the ... (yes, I'm looking again)
... moon sign. This is what your character hides from others. It's what s/he doesn't want others to see. Doesn't mean it's bad, just something your character is embarrassed about. It's what makes your character blush or run for the hills.
Isn't that great? It really gave me another way to continue to wrap my brain around my characters.
And, bringing this back to active characters...
It gives me a way to keep my MC active. Even in a completely disorienting situation- when there isn't much physical action that can be taken- there can always be the tension between what she wants others to see and what she's afraid they'll discover- what even she is afraid to discover.
That sort of thing can make even the most basic conversation pop.
So what do you think? Do you like this way of looking at characters? What are some things that your characters are trying to project? What are they trying to hide? (I think that hiding part is my favorite.)