Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on January 20, 2011
You can learn a lot about your hero or heroine from the knickknacks found in their living quarters. Perhaps your heroine presents a tough exterior but indulges herself by wearing lacy silk lingerie. Or your hero, who seems a sensitive type, harbors an assortment of evil-looking knives in his drawer. This one might work especially well in a mystery. For inspiration, check out those unsolicited catalogs you get in the mail or take a stroll through the mall.
What are some of the items your protagonist might collect? Books and/or magazines? Be specific. Are they fiction or nonfiction? What genre or topic? Are they strewn about the cocktail table for show, or are they askew on an unmade bed? Are the pages ragged, the corners folded in, or are they in pristine condition?
Maybe your heroine collects porcelain figurines. Are they animals, children, or couples embracing? What secret longing do they represent? Or your macho hero owns a collection of chess sets. What does this say about him?
Here are some other ideas: embroidered throw pillows, letter openers, music boxes, sports memorabilia, clocks, model airplanes. If art adorns the walls, are they watercolors, oils, or photography? What do the subjects depict?
Decorative plates, antique jewelry, and vintage clothing are popular items for collectors. So are fairy tale characters, wizards, angels, and unicorns.
Look at the items surrounding you at home and think about your hero’s domain. Why does he collect a particular item? Does it express a hidden desire, reveal a facet of his personality, or expose a secret sentiment? Even owning nothing of a personal nature makes a statement in itself. Have fun delving into the intricacies of your protagonists’ hobbies so you can describe the collection through their eyes. It will give an added dimension to your story.
This entry was posted on January 20, 2011 at 7:27 am and is filed under Writing Craft. Tagged: characterization, characters, creative writing, fiction writing, Florida authors, Nancy J Cohen, publishing, writers, Writing Craft. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.