We come across fascinating people every day. In the lift, at work, at the supermarket, friends, family, strangers, colleagues, pets…oh, wait..
What got me thinking today was that as I was heating up my leftovers for lunch (Carbonara), I spied two of our interns having lunch at a table a few feet away. They invited me to sit with them and in a few minutes of polite chat, I discovered one was heading to the Yucatan Peninsula for Christmas and the other lived in High Wycombe. Both were topics for discussion as I wanted to tell the traveller all about my time there and offer some foodie survival tips and to the other, I wanted to reference of bit of historical trivia about his town of residence. In any case, it was a short, pleasant chat and soon enough we parted company. I, to the lift back to my desk and they to the corner shop of afternoon snack.
The exercise I have in mind is simple. I believe that much of what writers write is based in reality, from personal experience or from observations, or from people in our immediate circle. Try this…
Throughout the course of the day, you will probably meet a number of different people. Try to gather one interesting piece of information, personal if possible (but not intrusive) , from everyone you meet in one day. Let those nuggets be the basis for a short narrative. Give your characters traits form what you’ve gathered and incorporate as much of what you’ve heard in one day into the story.
Have fun. Happy hunting.