In a novel, there is a lot of information readers never see. Behind the scenes planning, plotting, and inventing (with lots of laughing and the occasional cackle. *ahem*). To help the characters come alive, we often spend hours discussing their upbringing, habits, history with each other, and anything else that pops into our heads.
A great way to make your characters “come alive” is to think about their likes and dislikes. Think about them like real people and eventually, they begin talk to you. Other times, we wander off on tangents that end up sounding something like:
K.: What do we write about?
J: How about the type of food our characters like?
(Two hours of perusing food blogs.)
K: Daniel may have a British background but he’s not a fan of fish and chips. Or mushy peas. He can make them better.
J: Hmm, yes. I think Daniel claims to have refined tastes, but his real comfort food is a curry take away that reminds him of his university days. Oh, Val just told me she doesn’t particularly like cooked asparagus. Or cauliflower. Maybe cooked broccoli, too.
K: Why does she hate it? And can we use it in a scene?
J: Something about them being boiled to death–the smell of the cooking water? But she’d probably inhale a box of cream puffs… or cheesecake. Yes, definitely New York style cheesecake.
Philippe will do anything for those little lychee jelly candy things sold in Asian food markets. Or maybe just good brie. You think he’s a bubble tea kind of guy?
(and so the insanity continues)