One of my favorite writing exercises is to imagine the going-to-bed habits of my characters. I may never use these details in a story, but it helps me identify particular traits about a character that will lend itself to other “truisms” about their behavior. Does your character make it a habit to drink, smoke, and pass out every night, or is there a 19-step night time regimen that must be followed to the most infinite of details? Does your character wear pajamas? Do they climb into a bed with freshly turned down sheets, or do they curl up on a matress in the corner of a flophouse somewhere? This exercise gives you so many things to consider, it can really enrich a flat character into something that seems more like a real person.
Tomorrow I will post my results of this prompt for one of the following characters: homeless girl, Cassia; time traveler, DG; or one of three characters from “Church of the Palomino.” Let’s see who steps forward in my dreams.