This week, Marilyn asks: “Do you have a favorite place to go to create the characters for a new book?”
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Good question. Since my books take place in southern towns far from home, I must spend time observing/interviewing those in the vocations of my characters. Recently I've observed hotel bellmen, cocktail waitresses, bed-n-breakfast owners, a small town police chief, and a sax player in a blues club. It makes for some interesting vacations.....
Each of my characters is generally an amalgam of the people I’ve encountered over the years—doctors, nurses, patients, technicians,ministers, church-goers, bankers, clerks…the list goes on and on. So, no, there’s no favorite place for me. Ideas…and characters…are everywhere.
Richard L. Mabry, MD
I don't "go" to any particular place, though I have seen quirks at restaurants and other public places that I ended up using for different characters.
When I started out, I’d go to malls, restaurants, parks, etc., and watch people. Write down things they did – different ways they reacted to stimulus. I don’t do that now, but to be honest, I think it’s still a great idea. We can get into a rut with our characters unless we’re willing to expand our horizons. I do notice different character traits on TV shows, movies, or in other novels that I’ve implemented in my own writing.