So to help myself write I sometimes "people watch." As in, I'll be out driving or in a restaurant and watch how people interact, notice differing features and personalities...etc... After thinking of their mundane routines I then imagine what they might do if my story were true and they were involved or if something from my book would happen to them. How would they react? What might they think? I definitely like using normal people, including friends or family, as models for my story. Some of the best characters come from someone I've known or just met - no matter if I've only met them for 10 minutes and won't ever see them again or I see them everyday and have known them my whole life. Or everything in between. My question is this, Who or what helps you devise your characters or "human atmosphere," as I like to call it? What elements of normal life or people that you meet end up in your story? I know its helped me out a lot working on mine.