There are people–characters–who look at you and dare you to shake them up. You don’t really know them, so you approach hesitantly, if at all. Yet if your story is to be believeable, by the time the party is over, you’ll have met them, danced with them, learned all their secrets, and seen the mole she always keeps hidden for modesty’s sake.
I’m an introvert by nature–I don’t enjoy pushing, prodding, or entertaining strangers. But as a novelist, it’s my job to do it.
By the fourth or fifth draft, I’m pretty brazen at the party. But in this horribly painful first draft, when I’m easing my way into an unfamiliar setting, it’s uncomfortable for everyone.
Those first 50,000 words are torture.
I have done this dozens of times, but it doesn’t get easier. I feel that I’ve been tasked to spin gold from the air.