Throughout our lives we’ve seen thousands and thousands of people, sometimes just glimpsed hurriedly, other times studied and observed as carefully as if they were under a microscope. So that’s where we start, with our observations. Good writers will seek out people to observe as well — at the café, and the library, in the Emergency Room and down at the courthouse, at the bus stop, the airport and the train station. Life is full of people to watch and those people, being themselves, reacting, taking action, talking, laughing, crying, waiting with every emotion and thought, are the palette of the writer, the authentic brushes. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing doctor romances or courtroom dramas or literary dissections of academia, your characters are going to be significantly more real and more interesting if you’ve been observing them in their habitat.