How to Become a Dope Writer - Tip #28
28. Watch people.
When I was in college, I loved to just watch people. I found it interesting how we interact, our mannerisms, everything in how we present ourselves. This definitely helped me when I wrote dialogue between characters or even in my descriptions. When writing, you want to come across as authentic as possible, and I think this is an easy trick to help you do just that.
Now that I’m a little older, I find different ways to people watch since I am not on-campus anymore. I live in the Bay Area, so taking public transportation (BART) is very common. With the amount of daily traffic we have, it is almost preferred. You can find a lot of “interesting” people on public transportation from many different backgrounds. When I take the train, I just sit back and observe, not necessarily looking for anything in particular but just observing my surroundings. I never know if I will use my observations later in my writing, but I always have them in my back pocket when needed. Remember, we, as people, are very complex, and you should strive for your characters to be too, so don't be afraid to use strangers or even friends and family as reference points. It will make your story that much more realistic.