I also like to learn about what makes a character come alive on the page. The device and voice and technique that creates this alchemy. I tend to talk a lot, so those who know me personally would say that this blog is characteristic of me speaking, and speaking, and speaking.
So far in this post, I've used a particular device three times. Can anyone tell me what it is? Not humor, that isn't exactly a technical device. Okay, give up? It's called polysyndeton. It means using a succession of conjunctions when they could be deleted and commas used, but the effect is different, not the meaning. So all those "ands" were on purpose. Now usually, I would use it once in a story, let's not go overboard. Some people despise it, and some, like me, like the effect in certain stories. I think it mimics real speech, as bad as that can be when it is supposed to be dialog. I use it as one of the ways to show a character thinking and speaking at the same time, or even speaking before thinking.
The thing that started this whole agenda for me today was a recent critique from one of the sites I participate in online. The critique writer said I needed to learn how to use commas correctly and not rely on conjunctions; this in reference to a passage much like the above. Well, yes and no. I am doing it on purpose. I want the effect. It reads differently and has the effect of slowing, of emphasizing, what is being put together in succession with the conjunction instead of the comma.
While I treasure the feedback I get from others that helps my writing, I am discovering that I am starting to nod politely, and then do it my way anyhow. Again, those who know me personally will not be surprised by this behavior. I always do it (ignore advice) when I know a certain amount about the subject matter. It tells me that I have a higher level of confidence in my writing than before. Before: when I would change anything because I assumed I was wrong and they were right. Now, I am not so quick to change. And that, dear readers, is so characteristic of me.