A common expectation from readers is that we show them the development of our characters. Readers want to see characters learn and change. A common method for creating this expected arc is to create plot points that put characters in situations that will challenge their modes of operation, create friction, and require new decisions to surpass the obstacle and reach their desires.
When we embrace the elements of the third chakra – the Solar Plexus chakra – we can begin to look at our characters in a more complex way. We can take their awareness about themselves and the world – in relation to their responses to other characters – that we discovered by looking through the lens of the second – Sacral – chakra to allow our characters to turn those reflections from others back on themselves. This is where self-awareness comes from, which informs a character’s sense of agency in the world.
This is not to say that all characters will achieve high levels of self-awareness over the course of their individual stories, or even if they do, that they’ll use the awareness wisely. In fact, most of them will not. But as the writers of their stories, we need to be able to discern what we know about them and what they know about themselves, which will inform how much agency we give them. And we need to be able to impart those differences to our readers.
What do your characters know about themselves, and what do you know about them? Does your main character have a strong or weak sense of agency? That is, does she/he take action or just let life happen?