17 Days to go
I wonder how many of you out there engage in people watching. It's crucial to my work with the invention of characters and for visual descriptions, but there is so much more that can be gleaned from just observing. The way people move, their body language and their facial expressions that complete a real rainbow of moods and demeanours. After that there is their choice of language and how they communicate with those around them. I've witnessed more than my fair share of people arguing in front of their children without a single consideration for what they are going through. and what and how they are saying. By the same token I have witnessed younger children using anger and behavioural tactics in order to get what they want and control their parents effortlessly. I've also watched those who believe they can discuss any issue with children even if society suggests that it's a subject to mature for children. I've seen adult pick on adult, retaliation in a physical and sometimes verbal onslaught and also those who try to impose their will on others by not letting anybody else speak. Then of course is the communication that doesn't emit a single sound. Facial expressions can often tell a story better than words, convey emotions, good and bad and forewarn the approaching inevitability that the confrontation is going to move to another level.
So what am I saying really about all this? Well it's simply that there is no right or wrong way despite what professionals might say. Relationships between people exist and are managed on all sorts of levels and just because sometimes what we see it isn't our preferred style, it works for them. As a study it is fascinating on every level and great for a writer to look at, to borrow and learn from. Everyone is different and it is important to make our characters stand out in some way, and in a book, crucial to give them a personality that is different from the others. keep them interesting and make them a combination of good and bad, after all nobody is perfect and readers don't want the perfect character. Next time you people watch, look at them in a different way. Ask yourself, as you look at them, what's your story? It's amazing what you can work out from an appearence, a demeanour or a voice. Try it.