Are you finding it difficult to get to know your fictional characters and/or differentiate them from yourself? Try this: Choose a character from your project and let her/him take a walk into a place you know well. Then describe this place from this character’s perspective and ask yourself:
What does (or doesn’t) s/he notice?
How does s/he feel about what she notices? What thoughts do the things s/he notices trigger in her/him? This can be memories, social critique, enjoyment or disgust etc.
How do your character’s impressions of, and responses to, the place differ from yours?
Further chip away at your character and establish how they present themselves to others by imagining how they would briefly describe themselves in the following situations: In a job interview
On a first date
Catching up with an …
Establishing how your character is perceived by others is a great way to give them greater context. It can provide the author with expectations to subvert for the reader and add an interesting mystique to …
Here is your challenge: for the next week, collect fun names. I’ve collected them for years in a little notebook — from obituaries, news stories, random lists, and spam. Spam is great for funny names.