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currently revising and being reminded all over again how important it is to revise for characters' HABITS OF MIND. how people think is the most important thing about their POVs and figuring out how to communicate their thinking is key to genuine and consistent POV
does the character follow one thought through to conclusion or get distracted? do they shy away from any thoughts that bring up feelings and distract themselves with physical action, chores, checking their phone? does the character think mostly about themselves? only abt others?
when the character sees someone in trouble, is their instinct to help? if so, do they follow that thought through w action? do they act contra to their thoughts and walk past instead? afterward, do they feel guilty about not helping? do they not let themselves think abt it?
is the character *aware* that they're avoiding their own thoughts, or is the habit of mind unconscious and so patterned or self-protective that they're unaware. if aware, do they try to change? if unaware, is it obvious to others, or is it subtle enough to go unnoticed?
what's the relationship between the character's thoughts and what they say? do they think a LOT and then say very little of it? if so, what's the logic of their editing? do they say exactly what they think? do they talk before thinking? talk as a *way* of working thru thoughts?
do their habits of mind change in response to certain stimuli? for ex, are they logical and thoughtful when calm but impulsive under stress? are they supremely calm under pressure? is that how they've always been or have they cultivated that habit of mind?
do they say how they feel? are they aware of how they feel? wrong about how they feel? if wrong, are they lying to themselves or do they not have the ability to perceive their feelings? if unable, are they emotionally unintelligent in general, or do they only lack SELF-awareness?
habits of mind can also be MODES of thinking—an individual brain language that each person thinks in, just like how each character has an individual style of speaking.
sometimes this looks like self talk—a character actually thinking things as if they're talking to themselves: "do NOT make a dad joke!"; "just walk in there and ask for the raise"; "oh, morticia is gonna love this mushroom soup!"; "you are beautiful!!!" etc
other times it's more like a lens through which thoughts are filtered. a character dreading something might wake up with dread-filled thoughts in general: "ugh, who chose that fucking alarm sound bc they deserve to be court martialed."; "they dull morning light hung heavy"
other times it might reveal mental processes going on in the background, like the kind of obsessive planning that often attends anxiety: "i'll work on this for another 20 minutes, then mr. dunn will be gone so i can walk past his door, then—no, 25 minutes is better, then i'll go"
some characters ALWAYS notice people & think about their motives but don't notice or think much about their surroundings. other characters are super detail oriented so they describe a lot bc they notice a lot. others take things in wrt necessity: threat, egress, best view, warm.
each of these habits of mind—and all the infinite others—produce different effects on the page, and the style of prose or the inclusion/exclusion of details, motivations, awareness, insight, etc reveal (or conceal) character traits.
one of the best ways to notice these distinctions among characters is to imagine a scene told from 2 POVs. the 2 chars would (should) notice DIFFERENT details bc of how they think/experience the world. they'd emphasize diff parts of convos/events. they'd draw diff conclusions.
imagining what your character would notice/care about and what they wouldn't can tell you TONS about who they are. or, vice versa, who they ARE will determine what they'd notice/care about. so habits of mind can tell you who a character is, or who they are can show you their HoM
as a character changes throughout a book, their HoM will change too. are they working on being more independent? they'll perceive the world diff as that happens. were they resistant to love and then fell in love? their thoughts about love/themselves/their partner will change.
are they descending into a spiral of fear and paranoia? their HoM will change. are they manic? depressed? excited? guilty? hopeful? distracted? their HoM will change. do they trust themselves? learn a secret? remember something that changes their perception? their HoM will change
the form of a chapter or section can emphasize how a character thinks, too. do they always want to figure things out? maybe their chapter will end at a conclusive place. they uncertain? break the chapter in medias res to transmit the char's sense of uncertainty to the reader.
of if yr feeling devilish, or want the narrative form to undercut your character's certainty (a bit of formal irony for ya), break the chapter in the middle of something when they ARE feeling certain and the reader will sense that the character is wrong.
using a character's habits of mind as a lens to filter their world/narrative helps a reader sink into their story & feel what they're feeling, even in perfunctory or banal moments. nah, ESPECIALLY in those moments.

tl;dr: habits of mind. they're pretty important ;)

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