I've been editing my second thriller, Line of Sight, a work in progress. Perhaps because I know the characters better (from Standpoint), I find it easier to get swept along with the manuscript as a book and sometimes have to pull myself back to the editor's chair. One thing I have observed is the way in which small details illustrate character. The way Thomas irons his tie for a funeral or the way Karl cracks jokes when he's aware of tension. Or the way Miranda bursts the bubble of intimacy with a well aimed crude comment or two.
I've also turned that lens on people I met upon life's journey. Small details, and each one of them a billboard of the soul.
Mick, who worked for the same chemical manufacturers, with his key ring made from a dog's ear.
Michael - no connection - who spent a whole weekend turning my angst ridden teenage lyrics into songs and recorded them for me.
Another former nameless colleague who put on the lingerie that his wife refused to wear (once she'd gone out of the room).
The man who put a hammer cold against my head and demanded money.
The woman who thought it would be funny to share an intimate secret, just to see what would happen.
A landlady who lowered the rent just because we got on so well.
Maybe character is best revealed by those things we do when we have freedom of choice and there's no one else around.