Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday prompt: #36 2012

Pick a co-worker you don't know well but have observed.  (You can exchange co-worker with club member or any large group you are involved with.) Describe that individual.  As you do, you will find the main feature about that person that stands out to you because you will focus in on it without realizing it.  This practice (maybe do two or three) is useful because you will be describing real people who have qualities that you have unconsciously connected with.  Collecting idiosyncrasies from real individuals you know and using them in your writing will add a naturalness to your characters and help your readers to identify them individually, especially when there is a large cast. 

Writers select only a few qualities to attach to a character, main or minor.  Hair and eyes are popular features, but there are so many other qualities that can help define a character as unique and help a reader connect with that individual no matter how short the involvement with the individual is in the reading.

  • Glasses that slide down the nose or enlarge the eyes when lenses are looked through directly by other characters.
  • Profuse sweating:  sweaty hands, beading above the lip.
  • Feet that slap the floor with every step.
  • A habit of rubbing an ear or stroking a brow.

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