The newspapers are full of reporting that today is the day we are all supposed to hit the stores and start our Christmas shopping in earnest. Please notice I'm not shopping, I'm doing my blog. I'll shop when I'm ready. I'm not there yet. However, this retail frenzy got me thinking: why not use this as a character exercise?
Here's a new way to explore your characters in your current WIP: take them shopping. Imagine them going into a mall: where do they go? What do they buy? How long do they stay?
I'm dealing with one character who would head straight to a used bookstore. I've another who would sit in a coffee shop drinking espresso and people-watch. He might venture into a kitchen store for new copper pots. I've two characters who would head to the designer boutiques. One would buy new clothes in every available store and put them all on a credit card. And there's many more...
I recommend giving this a try. It makes you think about your characters in a way I'll bet you've never thought about them before.
People watching is a great way to pick up ideas to flesh out characters.ReplyDelete
Well shoot. I'm heading into town this afternoon for a bit of shopping-I'm feeling a little unoriginal. :D
Yes, I suppose I´d better give it a try. I am in a challenge which ends on Monday: write a Walmart flash story ;)ReplyDelete
I love people-watching, but there's no way I'm going out today!ReplyDelete
I guess I haven't made myself clear; you don't need to go to a mall yourself; just imagine how your characters would act if they were the ones shopping. Stay at home. Drink tea. Imagine.ReplyDelete
What a fun exercise. I'd much rather send one of my characters to the mall today than go myself! One from my WIP is headed toward the kitchen store as she's determined to start cooking at home rather than using take away all the time.ReplyDelete
I don't think my characters like shopping, so they'll be in a really foul mood. :)
Mystery Writing is Murder
How interesting...What a great idea!ReplyDelete
My protagonist would not shop except for one person, and he would buy something very special for that person, but not something romantic. He would never have the patience for long lines or trite advertisements or rude salespeople. He doesn't have enough connection with The Season for that. But my protagonist also wouldn't avoid Black Friday knowingly. He wouldn't even be aware it existed! He might accidentally get caught in the traffic or something like that...
Thanks for this exercise to get my brain back in writing mode...If only I wasn't at work tonight I could actually get some scenes down on paper(computer)!
Good exercise! The 2 mcs from my current project would head straight to the techy stores and the tool aisles - it's a steampunk novel and they'd be thrilled!!ReplyDelete
What a great exercise to send your characters -out- What will I find out? Nice, Elspeth, nice way to make my turkey ridden brain -think.ReplyDelete
From my WIP:ReplyDelete
Protagonist would walk the mall until she saw a shop that would have something one of her co-workers would like, go inside, and buy it without looking at anything else. If she didn't see a shop, she would leave.
Antagonist would head for the store with the most fashionable clothing.
Elspeth - Once again, you've taught me a new way to look at characters! It's really fascinating to think about how they would shop and what they would buy. I'm only sorry it took me until just now to carefully read and respond to your ideas. It's funny because some of my characters do go shopping (although the shopping isn't really central), and they do buy different kinds of things.ReplyDelete
I remember an Alice Munro story about a woman that buys a scarf in Toronto, written beautifully, naturally. I can't remember the title. I can't recall if I've gone shopping with any of my characters, I'll have to give that some thought.ReplyDelete
I did not go shopping yesterday, we had a party. Now I'm recuperating. Hope you holiday was a good one.
How silly of me, you had your Thanksgiving in October! Never mind, ;-)ReplyDelete
Great suggestions!! I'll give them a try!ReplyDelete
My hatred for shopping means almost always my good guys hate shopping. Although, having said that, my latest romance is about a fashion designer. She likes shopping for clothes.ReplyDelete