I've always wanted to ask this, but have never had a group of writers to talk to until now. I want to preface this by saying I have severe bipolar disorder, and sometimes that does affect my experiences. I tend to react to things more...intensely...than my healthier friends. It's two things, really. First, when I feel a strong inspiration for something, it's physical. My face gets flushed and I actually will sweat and shake a little. So much so that I've caused bystanders to become slightly worried about me. Once my mother was worried I was going to faint. The characters and details that come to me in this manner are the strongest and most vivid. The two people who've read my current project both say my "hot flash" characters tend to be their favorites, though I have never disclosed how they came about versus other characters. Second, I often get "instant" knowledge about my characters from random things. For instance, Hawaii's massive hula festival just ended last month and I was watching the performance on TV. There were some ladies playing a huge pahu (Hawaiian drum) and I looked at them an instantly knew one of my characters played a traditional drum. It wasn't an idea that should be considered. It was more like, "Oh, Sky is a drummer too. Hmm, that's interesting. Carry on." Traits and details that come to me like that, very much like the hot flash inspirations I spoke of previously, tend to be vivid and everlasting no matter what else goes on in the story. Does anyone experience one or both of these things? Please tell me about them if you don't mind. Thank you.