Every writer has a style, but it needs to be adjusted so it catches the characters in the story. This is nowhere more important than in a short story where often one or two characters carry the narrative throughout.
I always take time over this – imagining the character, feeling their age, their clothes, their speech, social status, relationships – basically everything I can think of.
Recently I’ve started using visual cues – objects, clothes, landscapes, houses that might be an important part of their life. Looking for the image is important because I find all sorts of things that aren’t right. Those things give me insight. But when I find the thing that is right, it gives me an actual sense of the character. I spend time gazing at, imagining. It really enriches my ideas. Here’s my leadlight I recently used for a story set in an elaborate Victorian house.