As writer’s, how important is it to get out among the people and socialize? It’s incredibly important. Just like everyone else we need to socialize. Writing is a solitary practice, but we’re writing about people behaving like people do. How can you write about people if you never get out among them to see their behaviors?
When I lived at the beach I would go to mall and sit in the food court. Just sit and listen to people. It wasn’t their physical characteristics so much that I was watching as their behavior, the emotional reactions. Yes, we can draw on the people close to us for characterization but eventually they will recognize themselves as your serial killer in book 3.
You have to get out among the people. Listen to them, watch them, notice body language and facial expressions. Pay attention to everyone around you. Just don’t creep anybody out.
Next time you’re invited out to play, say yes. It freshens your perspective on people, helps sharpen your characters. And who knows, you just may have some fun.