I was watching youtube vids tonight - on writing. There were a bunch of helpful hints; however, I didn't have time to research who was who. Don't trust the internet, my friends, there are scoundrels and fools out there. (Oh, of course if you're reading this, you can trust me. Bwaahaahaa.)
One of the vids talked about character development. The author pointed out lots of things that anyone who's written more than a year has probably figured out.
The thing that surprised and made me pause was the statement, "Pretend your characters are real".
In all my long years of writing, I have kept such a thought at bay. I have been fearful. Truly. What if the character becomes 'too' real and I can't discern what is real and what is not? What if I begin to believe it, in my heart and soul, and fall into the novel and never come out? *shivers* What if I fall in love with one of my characters?
Of course, I've done all of these things to a degree over the years. I remember when I cried for three straight days as I killed off a favorite character. I recovered, but I never forgot that.
These are valid fears, I think, in this age of 'Her'.
I think it's also important to trust myself that, when the novel is finished, I can resume my own life. I must get into my characters, even the 'little' ones, and figure out who they are. I've got to know everything about them. I've got to create that back story so that I know why she is afraid of spiders or whatever. I've got to pretend I'm with them over a cup of coffee at the local book store or sipping wine on the back porch, or drinking tequila at a bar downtown.
I wrote character descriptions for each of the folk in 'Blue' and I'm in the midst of doing it for 'The Other Side', but I still don't know them well enough. I'm going to pull out a bottle of wine (perhaps figuratively) and chat with Katherine. I know her, but I want to be her sister, to delve into her utmost secret thoughts and share them. I know it will make 'Blue' better.
Life is secrets.
Link to 'Her' -- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1798709/