In fiction, we inhabit other people, our characters, and try to understand their circumstances, understand how they struggle and how even well-meaning people can bollox things and end up in a messy situation. In nonfiction, we do the same, except the characters we inhabit are real people, often our families, or our friends. The act of trying to understand what concerns others, what motivates them, where they shine, and where they stumble, and to recognize that their behavior is not directed at you, but is rather their own struggle. - Dinty W. Moore
Choose a friend or family member. What bewilders you about their behavior? Describe a messy circumstance in detail. Add facial expressions and body language. Include hand and arm gestures.
Show what the individual sounds like in dialogue. Include your reactions and responses.
Answer questions to show how this person struggles unnecessarily. What motivates him or her to create chaos? Add qualities that shine to create another dimension. Insert humor.
Write for fifteen minutes to reveal the behavior that confuses you.
Develop an unanticipated ending to the scene to fictionalize the situation. How might this individual's behavior change?
Notice how detailing a character develops potential for story. Create a new first and last name and push the person into a different situation.
Marionette your character.