In other words, I'm going to be annoying and talk about psychology.
Character psychology, that is.
I've been taking AP Psychology this year, and I've found it remarkably helpful with writing (as one of my CP's could tell you. Like, helpful to the annoying level).
But honestly, you have to be in your character's head, right? Well it's a little important to know how a mind works, assuming your character is a human, yeah?
For example, let's take my character from my 2011 Nano, Ember. She says hi.
She had a problematic childhood. And then lived in a forest alone from the age of eight until she was almost 18. Obviously she's going to have psychological effects from that.
Or, we could just say she's weird. ;)
For Ember, she'd grow up without the presence of a lot of people and would therefore be scared of them and not socially adept. She also would think more like an eight-year-old than an eighteen-year-old because that's how she knows to act. She doesn't have the experience and observations of peers as she grows older. Ember would also probably have symptoms of feral child syndrome.
Conveniently, I was learning about all of this in psychology (and sociology) while I was writing my Nano (I did not plan it that way, I swear), but if you don't have a psychology textbook handy, research on the Internet is undeniably a great idea.
Characters will sound way more authentic if you know them really well. And if their brains work the same way ours do.
Unless they're alien. In that case, I would like to know about alien psychology.
(DO you have any alien character?? Or just ones with problems, like me?)