Hey all,

I’ve finally started doing a lot of outlining and drafting of a story I want to write (I’m avoiding calling it a novel to give my brain a break. For now it’s a very long story).

While I’m not completely new to writing, as I’ve done some short stories and the like, this is my first attempt to create characters with a depth I hope to expand over a long arc. With that in mind, I’m curious as to how any of you find writing characters that are alien to your experience.

Namely, a few characters I’m working on have qualities that I won’t really feel comfortable “inventing”, as I’d like to be as true as I can. The child soldier of a demonic cult who escapes brainwashing as an adult, I feel pretty comfortable making that up by and large.

But, one character is a woman coping with the disappearance and death of her husband. A good chunk of her early story will be centered on the sense of grief and loss. I’ve never been married nor lost a significant other and I’m a guy. I’m curious to what approach anyone may suggest for delving into experience that you can’t exactly relate to.

I recognize that this may be a pretty rudimentary question, but I’d appreciate any advice all the same.

Thanks and good luck!

Source: reddit post


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