Sounds a little like demonic possession, don’t you think? Maybe I should switch to the horror genre.

Let me explain. When it comes to developing my characters for a writing project, I have just one rule-I have to write from inside the character. I have to become that person, feel what’s inside them that needs to come out in action, dialogue, or even inaction. I do this for each character and, not surprisingly, I write my male characters with a lot of confidence. I also enjoy writing small children. I’m 65 years old, but I’m immature for my age. I’ve never had difficulty finding my inner child. My inner adult is another matter. Ask my wife if you don’t believe me.

Don’t misunderstand-this isn’t an autobiography. I inhabit the character, but the character doesn’t inhabit me, at least I hope not. If that were the case, all my characters would act and sound the same.

So, what’s the point? What am I trying to do? I’m trying to bring my characters to life, change them into real people, have them leap off the page and grab the reader by the throat. It’s not magic. It’s a combination of skill, technique, and hard work. If I can’t get inside a character you won’t see them in my any of my books. I can’t write from the outside looking in unless I want to produce some insipid, passive-voiced piece of crap. I try to do better than that. Sometimes I succeed.

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