Wednesday, September 4, 2013

People are fascinating.






Today marks the two year anniversary of the Insecure WritersSupport Group.  This date also delivers my second posting.  Wow.  (Two "seconds" happening at the same time.  It is serendipity.)  This group is the brain child of Alex J.Cavanaugh and I am thrilled to have finally joined.  If this is something you would like to be a part of, this group posts the first Wednesday of every month.  You can join the Linky List by clicking on the first link. 

Last month I asked what you do when you get stuck.  I want to take a moment and thank everyone who responded to that post.  You have brilliant ideas!

A few weeks ago we needed to have our roof repaired.  After the problem was assessed and fixed, the owner/roofer of this small business enterprise sat down at our dining room table for a chat before delivering the bill.  (The bill was pleasantly low, but this isn't really about that.)   This fellow was quite a talker and spent nearly an hour regaling us with stories about himself.  Several things about this were fascinating, aside from the crazy doings in his story.  This guy was a Character.  My mom got tired of him about 45 minutes in, if not sooner,  but I sat through the whole thing.  Why? 

People are fascinating. 

Even though I found aspects of his personality annoying, those intrigued me.  He was mostly likable, but he had some very strange notions about the way the world works.  Even before I started writing again, I would have sat through the whole thing simply because I find people to be extremely entertaining.  Now that I am writing again, they are not only interesting as all get-out, but I find myself considering how I can use some of the more bizarre character traits in my WIP.  Do I intend to fully insert this guy as I met him?  No.  Do I intend to use his story?  Absolutely no.  But, is the essence of the person, and some of his decidedly odd habits, translatable to my writing?  YES.

Do you ever people watch?  Use some personality quirks of people you interact with for your writing?  If so, I would like to hear about it.  If not, why not?

14 comments:

  1. I've always enjoyed people watching. Charles Dickens used to people watch constantly and make up stories about those people on the fly. I want to get the shirt that says "Careful or you'll end up in my next novel." Not really, because then people would stop acting weird around me.

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  2. People like that give us insights. Not everyone sees the world the way we do and neither should our characters. Only when we see something different in action can we really grasp it.

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  3. Oh all the time, me and my sister used to sit and watch people for hours. It really helps when trying to make a diverse world for my writing.

    Good luck on the WIP.

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  4. Yes Robin, it is ALL fodder for the imagination. I have this new guy beside me at work. In a matter of days, it became clear that he has some extensive knowledge on the background subject matter of my current story. I don't tend to share much about my writing in my real life working world. But now I find myself listening to things I can glean from this fellow, that I can use in my story...with the proper changes and disguises, of course. It cracks me up!

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  5. I've always been a "people watcher" and tend to be drawn to others with that trait, as well. I also think people are interesting. One of the main reasons I got into blogging was because I enjoyed hearing about stranger's day to day lives....silly, I know :)

    Anyway, wishing you nothing but the best with your writing!

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  6. Robin, like you, I find people fascinating. I also agree that characteristics of colourful people add a special something to my writing.

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  7. Steven ~ That is funny about Charles Dickens. I make up stories about strangers, too. I give them nicknames based upon their appearance or activities. It's a lot of fun!

    Alex ~ Yes! My characters are NOT me. Seeing things from someone else's point of view makes the characters more real.

    Brandon ~ Agreed!

    Liza ~ That is too funny. I find myself doing the very same thing. Unfortunately, I don't have someone I interact with regularly to supply me with information for my WIP! Lucky you!!!

    Mark ~ Yes, I like the personal stories in blogs, too!

    J.L. ~ We use everything, no???

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  8. If you're people watching, then you're definitely a writer! lol I'm glad the roofing bill was low and you got entertainment and fodder for a character study out of it. Have a great week! :-)

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  9. I like to people watch if I don't have 10 things waiting for me. Trouble is, I usually do and I wouldn't even be 1/4 as generous with my time as your Mom was. I don't want to sit still or smell the roses. I've smelled roses all my life and I want to get everything "in" before I go.

    It was good luck that you found a work man who gave you a reasonable price, did good work and made your creative juices flow. Ha

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  10. I'm thinking about a novel that will be all about the characters. I have a general drift of a plot, but I'm actively auditioning characters for it. Most of them aren't aware of it, though. Heh.

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  11. I love watching people at baseball games. They are uninhibited and open.

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  12. I think it's important that writers pay attention to people and their quirks and characteristics. So glad you could entertain yourself in this way.

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  13. I people watch all the time and they all get integrated into my brain and imagination in some way.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  14. Hooray for the IWSG!! And my husband and I people watch all the time! It's a great way to pass the time at restaurants and parks and, oh, pretty much anywhere else you find yourself surrounded by people. I also enjoy eavesdropping on conversations at coffee shops, but that's another story entirely :D

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Dazzle Me!