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Character Inspiration: People Watching

Character Inpiration: People Watching by Author Lauren Mayhew

Character Inspiration People Watching - Lauren Mayhew Author - YA Author RendezvousI 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.

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Where Does A Story Line Come From?

Writers find inspiration all around.
Writers find inspiration all around.

Written by

Lauren Mayhew

The answer to that question is anywhere and everywhere. You can take inspiration from everything.

 

You know when you have an argument with someone and once it’s over, you think of all great things you could have said. In your head you are creating a story. That argument in your head could turn into anything you want it to… even murder!

 

Don’t look at me like that! Everyone’s had thoughts like that. Haven’t they?

 

Have you ever been walking home in the dark? Ever get the feeling that there’s someone behind you, but every time you look behind, there’s no one there? When you’re scared, your mind automatically goes into protection mode and you’ll start thinking about escape routes and how to get away if someone really is there. That could be an opening to an action packed thriller.

 

It’s not just scenario’s like this that can inspire you though. A few words spoken can start the wheels of your brain turning, as can a simple image. You just have to ask yourself the questions: What does it mean? Where is it? Why am I here? Am I with anyone? How do I feel?Answer those questions and you’re ready to begin!

 

I have personally taken inspiration from dreams that I’ve had – trust me when I say you wouldn’t want my dreams – and tragic events that have happened in the world.

 

You simply have to imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes. Think about how their life is going to change after this event. You don’t have to keep it completely realistic, it’s fiction after all. Has this tragic event altered reality in some way? How many people have been affected?

 

A story line can come from absolutely anything. You just have to ask yourself the right questions to turn it into something incredible. Once you have your characters, they’ll tell you the story, from then on, you just have to keep up with them!

 

Here’s a little exercise to end this blog. Here’s a made up book title: The Secret of Darling Forest.

 

Now, tell me what this book is about. You can leave a comment below! I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

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