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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Want Character Material?

Get to your closest large city and buy some public transit tickets. Take a notepad with you and ride.

I promise, you won't be disappointed!

My son and I just spent three fabulous days in Chicago and we did quite a bit of public transit riding. My mind is overflowing with the possibilities.

So how many of you actually take time to study people like this? I know that people go on trips to the location of their books for accuracy, so surely other writers must study people?

How do you study people?

My thoughts grew hot within me and began to burn, igniting a fire of words
Psalm 39:3

Michelle Pendergrass is a coffee-lover who lives in Knox, Indiana where she homeschools her son, Zane. She blogs at Just A Minute. When you visit, please note that her son is most definitely weaned and has been for some time now. Some names just stick.

©2006 Michelle L. Pendergrass - All Rights Reserved


Mary said...

Ever hear that Jack Johnson song off of the movie Curious George, "I'm just people watching the other people watching me..."...I get a kick out of that. As a child my parents would sit at the mall and people watch while I shopped. I always thought they were weird.

On the rare occasions when we eat out for breakfast, I notice most couples (married?) don't talk, have you noticed that? Sometimes they're both engrossed in newspapers even!

I think people watching is the best thing about being a writer...everything becomes alive...fodder for expanding...who knew life was so exciting!

Though my dh gets tired of hearing me spout off my latest inspirations, if his eye-rolling is any indication!

pandacanup said...

I think people watching is a skill that is honed with practice. At first, the layer of the obvious is too dense: everything seems pretty low key and...normal. But then you catch the look on a face as they watch another walk away, or the migration patterns of single people, or just overhear advice one person gives another. Those are all really insightful windows, allowing us entry to the world of the sub-obvious and even the mystical un-obvious.

Mary, your dh just doesn't know what he's missing!

Anonymous said...

I'm a new reader of writer interrupted, but I have to comment on this one. I LOVE to people watch. I think there is so much that goes on in our daily lives that is just missed. Kids doing things on public transportation when they are in their own little play world, watching people watch other people, imagining how what caused each wrinkle in an older person's face in order to give their face so much character... It's a fascinating world, and I hate to miss the little things! Thanks for the thought...