Saturday, 5 December 2009

Driving me up the mall

I didn’t want to go Christmas shopping – and especially not in one of the country’s leading and ginormously massive shopping centres. But hey, there are advantages, particularly if you are a writer; it’s called inspiratorial character creation, or ICC for short.

There are thousands of people in such places; it’s like a people catalogue, and all we need to do is notice them – but more so than ever before because now we want to turn them into our fictional characters. Okay, so if they’re real, how can they be fictional? That’s because what we see will only be about 2% of them, so we’ll need to make up the rest. Only 2%? That’s my estimate, but the clues are there and you can tell an awful lot about people by noticing how they walk, how they move, their mannerisms, how they speak, what they are wearing, how they react to other people. Odd snatches of speech as they pass by can be enlightening.

Naturally, it is important to be discreet; do not stare or else they could take exception to your interest and turn nasty – but it’s interesting if they do (conflict is the basis of all good literature), so write it down quickly before making your escape.

I couldn’t find my pen in time and I was caught. My case comes up next week.


  1. So, did you get any inspiration Graham?
    BTW there's a small typo in the penultimate para.

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