My muse has been running amuck lately with new story ideas and characters, but that's better than having writer's block so I'm happy. Holidays are a great time to sit back and people watch, to see how folks react to different situations. Tonight was no exception as we had a room full watching the TAMU/UT game where half the group were UT fans and the other half, TAMU fans. I'm happy to say, I was on the winning side. Whoop! But the bantering back and forth provided a wealth of catchy dialogue. Gotta luv that.
So, here are some of the things I do to get into a character's psyche:
- People watch. How does a shy person react to a situation as opposed to a boisterous person?
- Background. Each character needs a background, roots, cultural heritage, religious preference. Did something happen when he/she was six to make him afraid of dogs? Do they always associate kites with an exceptionally happy moment?
- Astrology. When were they born? What characteristics do they have based on their sign?
- Numerology. I love choosing names that support their astrological signs. If a name I have in mind doesn't work with my previous perception of their character, then I choose another.
- Regional influences. This one is hard if you write about a character that's not from an area you're familiar with. Doubtful a native New Yorker is going to say y'all.
- Quirky mannerisms. Does she scrunch her nose each time she's mulling over a problem? Does he tap his foot when he's aggravated.