For those of us that live in the US, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. A time for family, food, and reflection.
It’s good to remember that even when we think we’re in dire straights, there’s always something to appreciate. A small kindness from a stranger, good weather, the fact that someone you love is doing well, etc.
And characters should be thankful, too. Even in the most dystopian societies, even in the bloodiest of wars, there should be a glimmer of hope. Because everyone wants to find the good under all the bad.
Hope drives us: from it springs determination and willpower. A person can overcome the elements and severe injuries because they hope to see their children again. Never underestimate “silver linings.” We cling to them to get us through the hard times.
Even when your character is facing annihilation, thanks and hope will give him or her a reason not to just throw down the sword (blaster, test-tube, joystick–you get the idea) and give up.
I’m thankful that the little things can be a guiding light through the darkest of circumstances. What are you thankful for?