Originally this concept seemed rather strange to me. In my head I was going 'but I'm the writer, how can I get to know something that I'VE created?!' but I realised that the more I wrote, the more I found myself delving into the minds of the characters that I created. For example, in the draft for my latest novel, I have quite a few characters that fit typical stereotypes or cliches such as 'rocker' or 'girly girl' or even fit particular traits such as ignorance or prone to silliness.
I've found when I create characters that I focus on their appearance and their role to the story. You can get away with this when writing fiction to an extent, but I believe that in order to truly connect with your characters, you must sit back and try and enter their minds, which is sort of like looking at them through a magnifying glass (hence the pretty weird picture.)
All of this links to my 30 minute stage play that I am writing at the moment for university. Seeing as I can only really show who my characters are through dialogue, I need to make sure that the choices of words or body language that I make them portray are crucial to who they are. For those of you who know me, you will be aware that dialogue is my worst enemy, I'm prone to seeking the comfort of descriptive passages rather than making my characters have a voice. It's something I must improve, and I must say that scriptwriting is helping.
So these are my few tips for getting to know your characters better:
1. What do they do?
What is your characters profession/main role in life? What are they passionate about? What do they despise? You must consider this when writing a characters response to something as first and foremost, we mainly write through our own opinions. But if all characters had the same opinions as the writer, it'd be a pretty boring narrative.
2. How would they speak?
What accent do they have? Where do they come from? Do they have a stutter? Do they slur from alcohol abuse etc? The situation a character is in can effect how they speak, this can be shown when it is written (i.e some characters may say 'iyer instead of Hello. It may sound silly but it makes a difference!)
3. How do they feel?
Based on the scenario your character is currently in, how would they feel? Now this doesn't necessarily mean how you'd feel if you were in that particular situation. Think about the character you created. Are they more prone to anger than other characters? Fear? Sadness? Cowardice? Consider this whenever putting your character in any scenario, the key to them being unique is to NOT BE A CLONE OF THE WRITER!
Hope this has helped and now back to my script!