Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Writer's Toolbox---Exercising Your Imagination

photo credit: Nutmeg Designs via photopin cc 

I've mentioned before a game I sometimes play with my kids while we're in a line waiting.  We people-watch and try to make up stories about what they're doing and why.  We've come up with some really awesome stories that way and fun memories.

The more I think about it, though, the more I realize how much I love people watching and thinking about characters who might look like them.  For example, just this morning I went to the grocery store even though I was having a bad hair day.  (And yes, I was praying I didn't see anyone I know while I was there.)  But in the produce section there was this beautiful woman, her hair done up, she had a gorgeous dress on with five inch heels. I mean, this woman looked amazing, like she was about to go for a night on the town.  As I quickly grabbed the stuff I was there to get, ducking my head and hoping no one recognized me, I kept thinking about her. Why would someone come to the store in the morning dressed to the nines? Was she hoping to pick up a cute guy in the produce section?  Had she just come from a party? A funeral? A church activity?  Maybe she was a model heading off to a shoot and forgot her breakfast so she needed some celery or something.  My mind was going in all directions as I made a beeline for my car, crouching down in my seat, happy that no one I knew had seen me.  (Come to think of it, if someone was people-watching me, they would have probably thought I was a spy. Or a crazy lady.)

The point of the blog is, that it pays to be observant.  People watching can spark character development.  It is an exercise that can really keep your imagination healthy and working. Then, when you need it for your story, it will be ready.

So store up your people-watching skills, your ideas for characters, and all the daily exercise your imagination needs.  It's a must have in your writer's toolbox.

1 comment:

Debra Erfert said...

I'm afraid I'm just the opposite. I keep my eyes on my objectives and leave the people alone. I'll hear a "hi, Debbie," once in a while, and look up to see a friend dressed as poorly as me. I never dress up to grocery shop, although I will comb my hair. I can't imagine why a woman would wear 5-inch high heels while shopping, unless that's a Utah thing. Flip-flops and sandals are the norm in the desert, uh, plus shorts and T-shirt, of course! lol.

I attended a funeral with my husband today. His elderly uncle died last week. Talk about people watching. For the hour and a half that the service lingered on, I watched the other attendees. Yep, I can write old.