Character Inpiration: People Watching by Author Lauren Mayhew
I love to people watch. I could literally watch people all day. Some of them are just so fascinating.
Have you ever been sat somewhere, and watched a person run through a town centre? Did a part of you ever wonder what they were up to? Did you then find yourself creating a scenario in your head about what it is they’re doing? If you did, then you’ve essentially created a character. If you’ve never done this, you’re seriously missing out!
Nobody is the same, and I’m not talking about skin colour, ethnicity, or accents. Nobody walks in the same way. Some people have limps, others drag their feet, and you’ll get the occasional person who seems to bob up and down with each step taken. What gave them their limp? Why do they drag their feet? Are they bobbing because they have an anti-gravity power that makes it difficult for them to keep their feet on the ground? Too far… Maybe, but you see what I mean, don’t you?
You only have to watch someone for a minute or two, and a character will emerge from them. 99% of the time, you’ll get everything wrong about them, but they don’t need to know what you’re thinking. As long as you’ve got that one character, the spark will ignite into a story line.
Only the other day, I was out walking with my mum and my sister, and a car sped past us down the road. It had to brake quite suddenly to avoid smashing into the car in front. All of us thought the same thing, ‘What a [insert expletive here]!’ He then sped off once the car in front had turned into another road, and my mum said, ‘He must be late for his dinner.’
To which I replied, ‘Or he’s been having an affair at work, and didn’t realise what the time was. He doesn’t want his wife to get suspicious, so he needs to get home on time.”
And suddenly I have a character, and the beginnings of a story. It’s not the sort of story I would write myself, I’m more of a Paranormal Fantasy writer, but it would work for someone.
It’s so simple to spend ten minutes every day observing those around us. Some people can do some fascinating things when they think no-one’s looking!
Want more from Lauren? You can check out her books on Goodreads HERE.
Find Lauren on the YA Author Rendezvous site HERE.
This was posted on the YAAR website with the express permission of Lauren Mayhew.
May 19, 2017 at 12:21 am
Love this! I’m a avid people watcher too and many of the people I observe and the conversations I overhear end up in my books.
May 19, 2017 at 12:22 am
Reblogged this on Paws4Thought and commented:
Are you a people watcher? I am – and many of the folks I observe and the conversations I overhear end up in my stories.
May 20, 2017 at 6:19 pm
I get most of my character and YA ideas by observing. That’s how you stay up to the times on YA.