A story's characters and their interactions is the most important aspect in any book. In order to make them appear real to the reader, the actions and motives of the characters must be believable. This is why the most important research a writer can ever conduct is the study of human behavior.
Fortunately, the options available are almost as plentiful as humans themselves! Consider the following resources when writing your story and you'll discover a whole world of opportunities.
Books on human behavior
· Personality Plus by Florence Littauer - excellent guide to human behaviors based on personality types
· Men Are From Mars, Women From Venus by John Gray
· The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
· Bringing out the Best in People/The Friendship Factor by Alan Loy McGinnis
· The Disconnected Generation by Josh McDowell - great for understanding teen behavior
· And any other relationship, personality, or inspirational book that provides human behavior insights
Observation - how do real people react under similar circumstances?
· Follow the actions of a person similar to your character - remember, no stalking!
· Examine the past and present behavior of family and friends
· Observe humanity through the news - this will provide a worldly view
· Watch people in public places such as sporting events, restaurants, grocery stores, churches, etc.
· Wherever you find people, you'll find opportunities to study human behavior if you just take the time!
· Search for events in your story (online, in books, etc.) - you will discover a plethora of human reaction and behavior available
· Non-fiction books with accounts of people enduring the same challenges found in your story
· Websites devoted to the discussion of human behavior or dealing with an aspect of the human equation
· Online forums and live discussions - find discussions on your story's topics or pose the questions yourself
· Interview real people in positions or circumstances similar to your character's situation
Utilize as many of the tools listed as possible, and don't forget that human behavior is best studied through live interaction. Not only will you develop believable characters - you'll grow as a person as well. And you might just discover you enjoy the fascinating world of human behavior!
- Author & professional speaker, L. Diane Wolfe
- The Literary Lynnch Pen
- The Literary Lynnch Pen is a weekly newsletter published by Lynn Tincher. About Lynn: Lynn was born in the small town of La Grange, Kentucky and grew up in Goshen. Lynn studied Theater Arts in College in hopes of becoming a Drama/English teacher. She has written articles in local newspapers and travel brochures. Now, she is focused on writing novels, short stories and poems. The second edition of her book "Afterthoughts" will be released in April of 2009 with the sequel "Left in the Dark" to be released on October of 2009. She also manages Artist Corner, an artist social website dedicated to help all artists become successful. Her eZine and website provides helpful tips and information. Lynn also provides email list management services. She has partnered with Constant Contact to help provide authors, artists, and small businesses the services to manage their email lists and marketing strategies, eZines, electronic newsletters, coupons and bulletins. Please visit: www.lynntincher.com artistcorner.ning.com www.myspace.com/lynntincher lynntincher.blogspot.com