As part of my job, I tend to travel. A huge upside is that I’m constantly surrounded by scenes, settings, and characters just waiting to be written. I love it, and consider myself incredibly fortunate both as someone who is curious about the world and as someone who likes to write.
Realization: the airport lounge is a character incubator. I tend to find a table wedged into a corner and watch the pages walk by. It’s the perfect mix of exclusivity, yet most of the loungers would tell you, these days, they seem to let just about anyone in. It’s also the perfect mix of seasoned travelers, yet there is an overwhelming air of nervous energy and quite a few fanny packs (sorry to my Commonwealth friends, I have reverted to American English).
From my notebook:
Today @ 6:54am, I observed a Shanter (first time in the wild). I knew it was a Shanter, because even from my hiding spot, I could see the light of the TV bounce off two sets of metallic zippers just above the subject’s knees. Subject also had a passport secured in a waterproof necklace, which was confusing given the traveler vest had so many pockets and compartments. Said subject can turn his pants into shorts in a moment’s notice. A Shanter. Beautiful, and mysterious, ready to travel between extreme climates. Where did he come from, and where will he go (his options are limitless). Please turn your pants into shorts…please.
It’s 7:45 and I must leave the Shanter, still in pants. There is always next time. Elusive, the Shanter. Don’t blame them.
Okay, my red-eyes are leaking into the keyboard. My point is, sure characters are all around us – but we all know they congregate.
Where do you find your characters?
Categories: Creative Writing
This is perfect. I once watched a man reach enlightenment waiting for a flight to Boston. You’re so right about airports.
Thank you! That sounds like a story, to me. It is amazing what can happen to someone in just a few hours before a flight…
I like to go to the food court at the local mall for inspiration. I get my lunch, pull out a book, pretend to read, and then I eavesdrop. Traveling is perfect for doing this, too. Also, just reading the newspaper provides lots of gems.
Oh my goodness, The Food Court. Yes! That is a feeding ground for characters. I may have to pay a visit here soon…food for fodder eh? 🙂
Most of my characters are in my head and seem to bits and pieces of people I know. I guess most of mine actually come from fiction and movies. Is that sad?
I usually find mine in my college. The peon’s son making castles with dirt. The teacher rummaging in her bag, unaware that her notes are flying away with the wind.