Getting Into Their Heads – Indie Around the Web

Getting into the heads of my main characters isn’t usually an issue for me, because their stories come to me through flashes of inspiration, and by the time I sit down to actually write them, I feel as though I know the main character as if he or she is a living, breathing person in my everyday life.

However, as I was working on Emma’s Story, I found that I had a hard time initially getting into the head of the secondary main character, Emma’s best friend Kendall.  Thankfully, this was well after November, and so it didn’t cause me writer’s block during the NaNo challenge, but it did present a problem for a period of time until I was able to work through it and get into her head.

Some things that I do to help me get to know my characters a little better include

1.  Making a playlist of music that character likes.  Music taste can tell you a lot about a person.
2.  Making a list of likes and dislikes, such as foods and drinks, quirks and behaviors, colors, etc.  It’s the little things.
3.  Write a short scene with the character at a party.  How a person behaves in a social situation tells you a lot about their personality.

But these are only a few things that I’ve come up with on my own along the way.  Before I started NaNo this year, I wanted to make sure I was armed with ways to help myself get into my characters’ heads, so that I don’t get stuck and lose valuable time.  So I’ve hunted down some articles and compiled the most helpful ones here.  Enjoy!  (As always, links open in a new tab.)

Getting Into Character Exercises

How to Write a Character Sketch

8 Ways to Flesh out a Character

How to Explore Your Character’s Motivations

Tips to Get Into Your Character’s Head

5 comments for “Getting Into Their Heads – Indie Around the Web

  1. October 21, 2014 at 9:47 am

    Oh this is cool. Definitely great advice that I will have to use for my Nano characters. I always have a hard time getting into the heads of my female leads. This should be helpful.

    • October 21, 2014 at 9:55 am

      I thought they were all very great ideas! I came across several articles that were just drivel, and I could not figure out the point. Ironic, since those people would call themselves writers. 😉

  2. October 20, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    These are all nifty ideas to getting into character. My sidekick, Brandi, is easy for me to jump into, but the private investigator, Richard, is a little tougher. I attributed it to him being male. Honestly, I think I just like Brandi better.

    • October 20, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      I think it’s harder for me to get into a male character’s head; but it’s also much easier to write the characters you like better, or characters you find yourself relating to.

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