I became a writer because I love to pretend.
I was an only child until I was almost five, and we lived on a farm seven miles from a town nobody (almost) has heard of. We had no TV, but we had books and I had an imagination.
I often entertained myself my making up stories, with me as the star, of course. At some point I decided to start writing the stories down.
I am still pretending. That’s where stories come from — the wonderful world of “what if.”
Now I sometimes use my imagination as a tool to learn more about a character in a story I am writing. I spend a couple of hours “being” my character. I try to walk like her, eat what she would eat, even choose my clothes with her tastes in mind. (Of course, it could be a male character as well, but some of the choices would be a bit of a stretch.)
It’s fun! I still enjoy playing that I am someone else. And it is good preparation for going back to write about the character. I know her better, because I have been inside her skin.