One of the simple pleasures of my work on my novel, “Viral Times?” Adding details in a character notebook. Go out and find a nice journal, or just buy a low-cost, 79-cent spiral notebook. Leave a few pages in the front blank, as a table of contents. Devote a page to each character, but don’t get too crazy about how to organize it. Just let whatever character in your story seems to float to your writing mind take a page a day.

After awhile, you’ll have a great collection of the nuances in your characters. Like the fact that Jake Domain finished high school early, before he went on found his synthetic emotions corporation. You might be surprised, like I was, that scenes can emerge from thinking about what your characters yearn for, want more than anything else.

What you want out of this work is to know these people, as if you’ve been their friend, boss, or lover for a long time. The further you get into this work, the more your characters talk to you as you write. Put them in a situation, and what they’re likely to do and say becomes more obvious.

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