Tuesday, April 22, 2008

There Are Characters Everywhere

"I learned to write by listening to people talk. I still feel that the best of my writing comes from having heard rather than having read." Gayl Jones

Greetings from sunny Florida!

I'm not a big fan of flying, but there's nothing like getting on a plane in chilly temps and then getting off 3 hours later to palm trees and sunshine.

Actually, I realized yesterday that there's another advantage to flying: sitting in the airport and people-watching. I can find fodder for characters in my next 5 books, if I sit there long enough. From the elderly couple in matching wheelchairs speaking a foreign language I don't recognize, to the family with a beautifully made up wife who's chasing 3 young boys around the terminal while her husband talks nonstop on his cell phone, to the teenage-looking mother trying to comfort her newborn...it's all there.

Malls are good places for people-watching, too - especially if you're writing Young Adult or have a teenager anywhere in your book.

And of course, schools are built-in petri dishes full of character ideas, from kids all the way up to the adults. I'm lucky on that front; I'm faced with new ideas every day.

Now I'm off to give beach yoga a try...don't be surprised if I work it into a scene somewhere down the road!

What about the other writers out there? Where do you people-watch? Or do your character ideas come from other places?


Marianne Arkins said...



Color me jealous.

And, yes... characters are everywhere! I love to go to the mall and people watch.

Have a great vacation!

Dru said...

I love people-watching whereever this is a crowd. The stories you can create just by looking at their actions.

Virginia said...

I do enjoy watching people, but I don't know about the flying part. I have been on a plane two. One was just a plane ride in a very small plane the other was a trip to Floriday. Still not sure about planes.

windycindy said...

Happy Earth Day! My mom was a big people watcher. She was very quiet,but was always taking it all in! Enjoy your beach yoga. Cindi

Devon Gray said...

I get a lot of my ideas from song lyrics. I do love to people watch. The Sandals Resorts (where we go every winter...usually Jamaica) are the best! You get people from all walks of life there.

Devon Gray said...

Oh, forgot to add. Enjoy your trip! I can't wait to hear how the yoga went.