I originally wrote this post a couple nights ago, but I’m just getting around to putting it up. Let’s time travel, shall we?
9:51pm, Tuesday: Coffee Shop
So I’m here at a local coffee shop typing my little heart out, and I notice this customer that comes in not too long after me. I’ve been sipping on my delicious chai latte and he has literally been standing up for thirty minutes chatting away with a weary barista. If I’m not mistaken, he has a couple different cups on his little table. One has a lid like mine, one is a standard water cup and one is something else that he just had a very detailed conversation and brainy debate about the drink’s consistency. You have to love people that know more than you about your job, right?
Opp! What’s this? Would you believe me if I told you he just got up again. I mean, I know better than to eavesdrop on conversations that are none of my concern, but [hey, people!!] it’s a free country and I have millions of bestsellers to write! I know the employees can’t get enough of him tonight, I know I can’t. Hank reminds me of something KM Weiland brings up in one of her videos. She discusses Why Every Hero Needs a Yappy Sidekick on her blog. I imagine these scenarios often, but never identified this as being an actual technique. Anyway, this fellow looks like his name could be Hank or Fred or Larry. Whatever his name is, he is nothing short of yappy. I bet he could tell me a lot of things I don’t know. (For example : Where I can find an eggshell polo with a denim collar, which hardly matches his throwback, low-cut, denim converse shoes.)
When I was in high school, there were a few friends that agreed, we need to have a little box where we keep miniature clones of our “favorites” to accompany us through life. These favorite people could range anywhere from math teachers to help us make responsible financial decisions, or the notorious class clown to come out and tell us something funny on a Monday at 2pm. While that sounds like an odd concept and maybe a tad deranged, it’s is the exact approach I like to take when it comes to formulating characters. Boy, oh boy- if I could only have a mini-KM Weiland! Oh, the fabulous stories I’d write!
You can’t find any of my books on the top-seller lists, not yet anyway, but I can honestly say I have found most character/story inspiration by way of people watching. That and stalking celebrities, which literally means I look through every photo and video interview I can find to catch facial expressions and mannerisms; including any details or funny quirks, unique to that person. If by chance I notice features that tickle my fancy, I make it a point to “save them for later,” and introduce myself when the time is right. As for this dude, I am certainly locking him in my little box. Better yet, I may tuck him into my back pocket as to “befriend” him sooner than later. My conclusion just before he packed up to go, I’m almost positive that guy is a writer also 😉 Who knows? I could have no idea who I’m dealing with. Perhaps this Hank-character, is a writer who has so-honed his craft, traces of me might very well appear, assimilated into one of his characters-in-waiting. #StealthWriterObservanceMode #PrivateEyeWriterGuy #MyFriendHank
Leave no rock unturned, friends. Characters are everywhere!