Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Watchful Eye

There's a lot you can take in when when you're watching people in real life who someday may populate your novel in one way or another.

Among the points of interest are faces, eyes, hair (style, color, texture), body type, skin tone, posture, teeth, and mannerisms. And if you're within earshot, their speech patterns, dialects, and voice.

I particularly like to observe mannerisms when I'm in a people-watching mood -- gestures, facial expressions, and body language. It's a great way to make characters stand out from each other in stories.

Another thing, you can make the same observations by watching TV or a movie.

So there's more layers to your characters than simply dialogue. If need be, keep notecards on each of your characters with all their characteristics for an easy reference as your write.

And there's no reason you can't blend some of the traits of those you watch to create distinctive characters in your story.

Until the next time...

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