In a previous entry, I wrote that you must be careful when in the presence of a writer. Be careful with your word choice. Be careful about how you behave. Basically, Dear Readers, if you do anything intriguing and/or deviant, and a writer witnesses it, they will immortalize it in a short story, poem, novel, or blog post. It’s just how the literary world works.
Last week, I went to an ice cream stand. While waiting for my order, I couldn’t help but overhear a group of men discussing the weather.
“We complain when it’s below zero,” one man stated, “and we complain when it’s in the 90’s.”
Why does this matter? Because, when writing, this is how settings are constructed. A generic line like this could be used in a variety of ways and in multiple genres. Best of all, it’s credible—because it was actually said. Sure, it needs some spice to make it “pop” off of the page. Giving the man a name is a good place to start. Describing how he conveyed this sentiment would also be helpful (i.e. was this statement presented matter-of-factly? Was his voice monotone? Did his hands move when he was talking?).
One of my college English professors once instructed us that, “writers are thieves”. I agree with this credo whole-heartedly. As students, we were encouraged to people-watch. Observation, learning how others utilize body language and facial expressions during interactions, is how a writer constructs believable characters. It’s a source of inspiration.
What are some of the best places to people-watch? Anywhere. Everywhere.
Pay attention to accents and colloquial terms. Take note of unique fashion-choices (i.e. an ensemble of leopard-print pajama pants, feathered slippers, and a leather jacket).
Remember, though, that there’s more to the world than human behavior. If you’re world-building, consider the environment in which your characters live. What season is it? What grows there?
Are there any animals roaming around?
Yes, Dear Readers, I am writing about writing. What you’re not taught in college, though, is that you need one of these:
A patient writing companion is a must. Isn’t he handsome?
If you’re not a writer, I imagine that you may have found this post quite dull. Or, maybe it’ll be the spark that rekindles a long-forgotten dream to write. Either way, I do appreciate your presence here. Please continue to send prayers, love and light. I am scheduled to have some MRIs next week. I need these scans to show that there hasn’t been any change.
With Love & Gratitude,