Currently, I am reading a fiction book whose protagonist is a novelist searching for a model for her hero in her novel. Of course, she finds him and goes to the extreme length of following the stranger around that day. I’m sorry, but I could never do that. I could never have the audacity to follow someone around to do “research” to write a character of one of my stories and books.
So how do I do my research? I pull from the people I know or the books I’ve read. I look for books that hold the kind of characters I want to portray and pull from there using only the characteristics I want to use.
Also, I’ve always been a very vivid dreamer. Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed very realistic dreams and remember my dreams. I use this to my advantage. When a character shows up in my dreams, I tend to use them in my stories and books honing in on what I want them to portray.
Another thing I tend to do is talk to my writing friends and brainstorm with them. I tell them what the goal in the scene is and what I need to happen and they help me figure out the path the character needs to take. I get a lot of help when it comes to writing because I have never thought writing a truly solo career, hobby, passion. It’s only solo if you make it solo. I believe getting help and feedback makes writing better. It makes my characters come to life. It tells me if the character is coming across the way I want him or her to and warns me when I’m falling off track with the story.