Sort of like playing dress up, I try to embrace the persona of my character as I'm thinking about them.
Here's an example of a survey of questions I used to ask my character -
35 Questions to Ask Your Character via The Write Practice
I thought this was extremely helpful and although I didn't answer every question it gave me insight into how I want to get to know the character as I write the story.
But then I came to realize there is only so much I can learn. I need to get my character in the scene and see them in action.
So I decided to take the writing prompt from last week and put my character in the middle of a scene and see what I can come up with.
And you know what?
It inspired me to start doing that magical thing we writers know how to do - make stuff up. Sort of like a light bulb went off and I felt guided further into the real story and who my character actually was - she was a feeling, living person all of a sudden and not just a character on paper.
I've begun to learn that my best tactic for getting my characters to feel real is a combination of both the planning process as well as an added mix of jumping in with both feet.
So, it's sort of like I've walked into the woods with just a flashlight...and a map.
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What are some of the ways you get to know your characters?