Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Opportunities Missed

Wednesday, April 13

Today’s topic covers missed opportunities. Have you ever skipped an event and then realized that you missed a great opportunity.

That happened to me this past weekend. My writer’s group decided to go to the mall to eat lunch. Not only did I miss out on networking with my fellow writers, I missed an opportunity to do some character study for some of my projects.

Back in February, two of our members held a book signing at the local Barnes and Nobles. I did not realize until I got in there that I forgot to bring my note pad with me. This was a mistake on my part. This was another opportunity because the characters were out in full force that day.

I did manage salvage part of that opportunity when I took a few photos that would help me because of the way the people dressed and looked. I got descriptions for two of my characters. In the wings are more characters who are tired of being formless. Plus, this is one of my assignments in my The Weekend Novelist book.

In Natchitoches, there aren’t that many venues one can go to observe a large number of people other than Wally World (Wal-Mart). Every once in a while they have an event on the riverfront. Actually, I think there is one this weekend but I am not sure.

My arsenal in this is a steno pad and a note card containing the questions that I want answered on the characters. I mentally record as much about a person and then attempt to write down as much as I could remember. I hope to do this before they leave my view. Can’t afford to follow interesting people for fear they may think I am stalking them. I know it would freak me out if someone I did not know followed me around with a notepad and pen in hand.

Thus, my characters end up being a montage of several people whom I observed. I take bits and pieces from person or another and assemble my character from those descriptions. Very seldom will I use one person as my character. But it does happen.

Well, gotta go. Need to look in on my characters to make sure they are behaving. Might observe something worth recording.

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