"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?