How many people do you know that you would put in the category of “most fascinating” people you know? If you are a writer you probably know more than a few. Fascinating people are interesting people with life experiences and occupations or talents that make them stand out. But everyone is fascinating in some way. Remember when Oprah Winfrey said “Everyone has a story to tell?”
Let’s say you’re writing a story and you want to develop a character but that character is kind of standard fare for their role – physically, lifestyle, skill set, etc. Think of the people you know who aren’t fascinating in an obvious way. Ask yourself why aren’t they fascinating? Try to find out something about them that is fascinating. Maybe you need to interview them, dig a little into their lives, pry a bit (lurk their Facebook page for clues!) and uncover that thing about them that is surprising, unexpected, unique.
The newly fascinating person could be someone you don’t know very well but have written off as boring or “normal”. It could be someone you’ve know for years but wrote off as boring or “normal because you don’t really know everything there is to know about them. When you find that thing about them, you might be surprised that they are more fascinating than you first believed.
Believe this new paradigm with everyone you meet and try to find out what it is about them that’s fascinating. Then go back to your character in your story, the shoe salesman, the friendly neighbor, the taxi driver and come up with something fascinating about their life. Something that could give dimension and color to their character. Then look at yourself and list what you think makes you fascinating or what you think you could do to be more fascinating.