Miss Potter is a lovely gem of a movie. If you haven't seen it, rent it as soon as you can. It's a must-watch for novelists.
In it, Beatrix Potter knows her characters. They are real to her.
Without giving away the plot of the movie, there's a time when Beatrix can't draw or write. She's close to a breakdown. Watch what happens with her characters in the scene where she's trying to write: it's truthful.
So how do you get to know your characters as well as Beatrix does hers?
You get to know them the same way you get to know people: you live with them, talk to them, listen when they talk to you.
You write down snippets of information about their history and their daily life. You journal about them and care what happens to them.
When you begin working with characters, you will "make them up." But as you continue to live with them, they will become as real to you as all the other people in your life. They will then become real to your readers too.
Discover more about creating characters which live in your heart, and your readers'.
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