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I want to write stories about people I don't understand, and I can't? (without understanding)

Fiction at its best gives me an understanding of people I don't get. It connects me to people I couldn't have understood before, often through things I do get.

I would like to write stories that scratch that itch, too. I'd like to write stories that explore alien characters in a way that brings understanding and empathy.

I write for me on other dimensions, but I can't on this, not through the whole process. I suspect that if by the end of writing and revision I don't understand the characters I wrote, something has gone wrong. So, by the time I write the story, reading the story can no longer affect me in the way I like stories to affect me. I have to understand the character to write the story. I can't go on not knowing and reread the final draft and be surprised.