As promised what I learned from Steeple Hill Love Inspired author Terri Reed about getting to know your character's internal GMC- Goal, Motivation and Conflict.
Write in your character's POV about their life up until the story starts. This could be a page or five pages. It just depends on how meticulous you are about details. This helps you pinpoint what the character "needs" internally before the story starts. This is how you give your character true internal motivation for everything they do. Usually the character has a misguided belief in something that will fulfill their need.
In the case of the book I'm working on- the heroine's need is to belong, specifically to a family. She has parents- but they have moved around so much and have been so busy, she never felt she had a family. She was just another piece of art her mother displayed and shipped out on loan and while her father gave her monetary things an patted her on the head when she entered graduate school at seventeen(which is another place she always felt out of place) she hasn't felt like she belonged anywhere.
Her misguided solution...To be accepted into the anthropological society.
While you're writing down their story keep asking them what is their secret. It may start out as something as simple as I hate my hair and end up with I'm jealous of my sister. Dig deep until they reveal the deeper hurt/secret and how they feel about it.
My heroine's secret- she's unlovable. Her parents treat her like an object, her first crush demoralized her, and even her cockatoo molts less when she isn't around.
Then answer these four questions about your character.
1) What is his/her need?
2) What created the need?
3) What is his/her misguided solution?
4) What does the character have to learn to fulfill the need?
Anyone care to take a stab at answering one or more of these questions about your latest character?