Sodaro's Stories

October 25, 2014

People Watching

Filed under: Writer's thoughts — michelle sodaro @ 10:49 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

“It always feels like somebody’s watching me. And I have no privacy.” “Somebody’s Watching Me” Rockwell

Chances are, if I have seen you, I have watched you…studied you.

One of my favorite ways to research characters is to people watch, which sounds so much better than that “stalker” nonsense…although evidently both have a tendency to make people nervous if you “research” them by staring at them and writing in a notebook…so you have to learn to be a bit on the subtle side of things to get it right…but when you manage it — It. Is. Glorious.

the best way how to learn how to distinguish your characters and make them stand out not only from the other characters in your novel, but also from the millions of characters which already exist…is to study people. Why do Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy stand out among all of the characters in all of the love stories? Because they talked and acted like real people.

I find people’s mannerisms to be fascinating. I always have enjoyed studying people and their behavior. I have always been enthralled with, why do people do what they do, why do they say what they say, and interact with others so differently? It’s why I studied psychology; it’s one thing that makes me a good teacher and it’s one thing that helps me as an author as well.

I study people…how they dress, how they carry themselves, their hair, their dress, their smiles (both real and fake)…how they talk…how they wait (so revealing, by the way)…how they check out other people (some REALLY need to learn about subtlety)…how they flirt (or try to) etc. It is an unending source of research and if you see me out in public, or more accurately, if I see you…you can bet I’m taking notes, whether or not I actually have my pen and notebook out.

Consider yourself warned — your actions may end up in a book if I find you interesting enough 😀

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