Writers ask me many questions, but most of them boil down to: how can I be more productive/write more often? And how can I get more realistic characters?
For me, these two issues can be solved with one very old-fashioned Shakespeare approved method - Act your characters. Or, in modern terms - Role Play your characters. It's a live show for a Jazz musician, the ball-game to an athlete - bringing your character to life will do the following things:
Force you to stay 'in' character and focus constantly on your fictional world. The more time you spend in your world, the stronger and more believable it will be to your readers.
The interactions with others will be story, so just the very act of role-playing itself will lead to fresh writing each day. After a day of interactions, I look through the mentions for plot ideas, dialogue snippets and other useful bits.
Also, seeing how readers perceive your story in real-time (the interactions to the tweeted/posted/Facebook-ed story), gives you a unique theater-like feedback on your fiction you can't get from any other method. Companies pay big money for customer feedback that you as a writer can get in REAL TIME for FREE!!! Think about that again.
Not only will role-playing your characters provide fresh story ideas and constant practice at staying in the fictional world, it will give you instant-feedback from your readers.
I hope this article helped clarify how I use role-playing in my writing process. If you have any questions, do let me know in the comments section.
Have a great evening,
Stephen John Moran