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.)