Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

  • Subscribe

  • Newsletter

    Sign up for my Newsletter

    Sign up for my Newsletter Get a FREE Book Sampler

  • Hair Brained

    Hair Brained, a Bad Hair Day Mystery by Nancy J. Cohen

    A Bad Hair Day Mystery

  • Hairball Hijinks

    Hairball Hijinks
  • Facials Can Be Fatal

    Facials Can Be Fatal

    A Bad Hair Day Mystery

  • Writing the Cozy Mystery

    Writing the Cozy Mystery

    Writing Guide

  • Permed to Death

    Permed to Death

    Bad Hair Day Mystery #1

  • Body Wave

    Body Wave audio
  • Murder by Manicure

    Murder by Manicure Audiobook


  • Archives

  • Categories


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.


3 Responses to “Collectibles”

  1. Jeanne Meeks said

    Hi Nancy,
    Excellent ideas for developing the characters without blatantly listing adjectives. In poetry class we learned to zero in on one mundane item….grandpa’s reading glasses on the mantel, for example. You’d be surprised at the images that can be conjured up. Thanks for the reminder.

    Jeanne Meeks
    Rim to RIm––Death in the Grand Canyon

  2. One mundane item is a good idea, Jeanne. I’ll keep that in mind.

  3. I love your transitions and clarity. I have been writing for Ghost Writers for a while now, and they pay me well to write blog posts like this, or content articles. I clear $100-$200 on a poor morning.
    Judging by your ability with the english language, you may enjoy doing the same.
    It wouldnt hurt to check them out.Here are the details

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: