Have you ever struggled to get to know one of your characters better? For whatever reason, have the quirks and intricacies that make a character come to life eluded you?
Here’s something I’ve found that helps me, and I hope this exercise helps you, too.
Write a scene from the point of view of the character in question. Detail his or her experience meeting someone with whom he or she develops a powerful connection. Whether the instant connection is one of attraction or repulsion and whatever course their relationship takes, you can harvest the energy of that first interaction to get to know the elusive character better.
Forget about whether the scene comes to live in the finished work. Use the exercise to get to know your character. How does he or she react on a physical level? What does he or she say and do? Notice any gestural or verbal tics. How does he or she react to the encounter later—after some time alone and reflecting back on their initial meeting?