Everybody tells you, "write what you know." Well, what if you find yourself writing what you don't know? Let's say you have a character whose head you simply can't break into...what then? With these characters, what's needed is so much more than research.
I'm writing about a six-year old kid named Amos, who suffers from selective mutism, a result of emotional trauma. I've done a little research on this condition, but am still finding myself searching for ways to "get to know" Amos, and I find myself wishing I had some more experience working with special needs children. Or just more experience working with young children in general. I see this kid in my head. I've conversed with him a bit. I think I know how he will respond to the various events that happen throughout my story, but I'm not entirely certain that I can write it. I guess I'm just trying to negotiate that interface between mentally recognizing a character and imbuing him with personality on the page.
Any thoughts? Any similar difficulties you've experienced? I'd love some feedback!