I’ve always written, ever since I can remember. Not all of it has been good…some of it has been flat out bad. But it has always been in me to write.
I used to think that I didn’t create the characters – they created themselves. Then I realized how much I people watch – and that Mark Twain and Albert Einstein must have had the same hair stylist. Seriously, I don’t just notice folks. I watch them, study them.
In a restaurant, I’ll watch someone converse… I’ll think about their day. The woman in the corner who wanted a better life and the bags under her eyes tell her story. The man at the table next to me, giving the waitress hopeful looks. You can tell the doting parents from the ones that tolerate their spawn.
Then there is real life, where you really get to know people. People who only call on you when they need or want something and on the opposite end, the friend who comes over for coffee, just because.
Being a writer, you meet tons of like-minded folks online. I’ve met my fair share and made some really great friends, given and received advice and simply chatted about our days. Writing can (and sometimes still is) a very lonely profession, but it doesn’t have to be anymore due to the interwebz.
And that’s an entirely different form of people watching… because we can’t see mannerisms. I can’t see someone trying not to spit wine on their keyboard, though I can imagine it. And while “lol” is used frequently, it’s a quick tick to show amusement, much the same as we do in person.
Due to financial strains, I had to go back to work full time and that has really slowed down the writing process for me… as you may have noted from the gross lack in posts here from me. But I haven’t given in – and I won’t stop. I’m just filling my memory bank with all the people watching I get to do now…
…and the characters are forming.