In my case it usually means that I want to know everything about them, and their world. Leads to a lot of reading, and daydreams, and eventually writing. That is how Archie and Horatio led to books on the real British Navy, and Georgian cities, and long gone but so real politics....
I want to know to know them, to breathe their air, and eat their food, and know what they worried about, laughed about. I want to know that so I can write them without looking stupid, but I also want to know what their hands taste like. It feels like obsession, like a high-school crush. Like the early stages of falling in love, where your heart pounds every time you think of them.
Well. I think I have gone and fallen for Christofer Marlowe. I have had to start from a position of total non eduction. I do not know anything about his world, his mindset, or how he thought. Maybe I never will. But I have spent the last two months reading everything on him, his peers, and his world, that I can get crammed onto my Kindle.
Picture my total lack of awareness of the religious tensions of the day. I had to start there, to make sense of anyone's actions. The whole claustrophobic police-state thing was an astonishment to me.
Anyway, I am at the heart pounding, giggly stage. I want to know everything about him. It may lead to fiction.
In the meantime...I still don't know how Tom Pullings got those tatoos. And i left Miss C and Mr C in bed. And Archie and Horatio need a prize ship. So there is still that.