Fascination with People


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Thread: Fascination with People

  1. #1

    Fascination with People

    I'm not sure this post is in the right thread but I believe it has to do with character development.

    Now and even before I started writing fiction, I have this habit that I cannot control. When I see people together, I try to figure out what the relationship is between them. I watch them surreptitiously to see if I can spot a gesture or look that indicates their connection. It doesn't have to be a couple, it can be any number of people and of all ages. Of course some are easier than others, so I find myself seeking out the less obvious groupings.

    I don't know why I do it. But I have long since stopped trying to control it.

    Does anyone else have any obsessions or habits that involve watching strangers?

    Do you think it's because we are writers?
    Sometimes in the waves of change we find our new direction...
    - unknown

  2. #2
    I think an author's interest in other people are key to good character development. Of interest to me are gestures and speech patterns - and about their lives in general.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by indianroads View Post
    I think an author's interest in other people are key to good character development. Of interest to me are gestures and speech patterns - and about their lives in general.
    How do you observe them?
    Sometimes in the waves of change we find our new direction...
    - unknown

  4. #4
    Watch and listen carefully. If possible I chat with them and learn a bit about their lives and world view.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by indianroads View Post
    Watch and listen carefully. If possible I chat with them and learn a bit about their lives and world view.
    Oh I know me too! I love to ask questions, and get them to open up. I think it's so valuable to listen...listen...listen.
    Sometimes in the waves of change we find our new direction...
    - unknown

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    Does anyone else have any obsessions or habits that involve watching strangers?
    Nice try, FBI.

    No but seriously, it's super important. You can tell writers who pay attention to people by reading their work. Even a few lines of weird dialogue or unrealistic action/reaction can absolutely be enough for me to want to stop reading.
    Deactivated due to staff trolling. Bye!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    Nice try, FBI.

    No but seriously, it's super important. You can tell writers who pay attention to people by reading their work. Even a few lines of weird dialogue or unrealistic action/reaction can absolutely be enough for me to want to stop reading.
    Haha...my mind was not there!

    But I know what you mean about unrealistic action. My husband hates watching movies with me because I'm always doing a running commentary on the characters and if what they are doing is believable, and how their actions may be foreshadowing. I usually figure out the ending early on and blurt it out...which really pisses him off.
    Sometimes in the waves of change we find our new direction...
    - unknown

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Taylor View Post
    I'm not sure this post is in the right thread but I believe it has to do with character development.

    Now and even before I started writing fiction, I have this habit that I cannot control. When I see people together, I try to figure out what the relationship is between them. I watch them surreptitiously to see if I can spot a gesture or look that indicates their connection. It doesn't have to be a couple, it can be any number of people and of all ages. Of course some are easier than others, so I find myself seeking out the less obvious groupings.

    I don't know why I do it. But I have long since stopped trying to control it.

    Does anyone else have any obsessions or habits that involve watching strangers?

    Do you think it's because we are writers?

    I don't so much watch strangers and wonder about them as I ponder overmuch on people I have actually encountered. But I wouldn't say I do that because I'm a writer; I'd say I am a writer because I do that. I'm often slightly perturbed by people I don't have a connection to. Most people I can get a general feel of their personality (I suppose I might gush that yes, I am rather quite empathic actually ) so when I get someone I can't fully read or form a sense of, someone from whom I am quite different, it really throws me for a loop. But then, lying awake at 1AM last night, I realised: I could simply invent personalities for them. Of course then I'd have to forever interact with the fictionalised version of them - robots, serial killers, whatever. But, and in the absence of being able to actually find out who they are, it would be preferable to this interminable never-knowing. For a while. I dunno. People can be exhausting.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    The first cut don't hurt at all
    The second only makes you wonder
    The third will have you on your knee
    s
    - Propaganda, "Duel"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous








  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    I don't so much watch strangers and wonder about them as I ponder overmuch on people I have actually encountered. But I wouldn't say I do that because I'm a writer; I'd say I am a writer because I do that.
    Good answer!

    Quote Originally Posted by bdcharles View Post
    Most people I can get a general feel of their personality (I suppose I might gush that yes, I am rather quite empathic actually ) so when I get someone I can't fully read or form a sense of, someone from whom I am quite different, it really throws me for a loop. But then, lying awake at 1AM last night, I realised: I could simply invent personalities for them. Of course then I'd have to forever interact with the fictionalised version of them - robots, serial killers, whatever. But, and in the absence of being able to actually find out who they are, it would be preferable to this interminable never-knowing. For a while. I dunno. People can be exhausting.
    Do you think when you find yourself in this situation, you could try to be less empathetic and more curious?
    Sometimes in the waves of change we find our new direction...
    - unknown

  10. #10
    Sometimes people make assumptions. My friend had five children, so was quite an older mum when she had the last. She still wasn't prepared for the woman who bent over the push chair and asked "Hello, out with Granny then?". Ouch!

    My partner dislikes my habit of talking to the wrong people. You know those people that nobody makes eye contact with, well I look straight back at them and then engage. They are quite often as boring as normal people, but every so often they are really different. I have never understood why people feel threatened by the poor and the dropouts of life, they are the ones who can't cope, it's easy to deal with them. The ones to watch out for are the very rich and successful, they are the ones who get others doing things they didn't want to before they met them.
    A new story

    I finally got 'A Family Business' recorded and loaded, all 37 mins of it, much longer than any I have done before.
    Hidden Content

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