It’s not always easy for creative writers to develop believable characters for their short stories or novels. Most of us don’t have close relationships with dashing heroes named Buck or brilliant, beautiful medical examiners named Desiree—which makes it tempting to take inspiration from people we actually know. But too often the resulting characters are thinly disguised versions of ourselves, our friends, and relatives. These protagonists can fall flat in fiction. So how do writers develop interesting and intriguing yet believable characters?