So there I was on my favourite form of public transport minding my own business when an old gentleman boards. Before he sat down, opposite me I might add, he starts addressing me as if we have met already. Within a matter of seconds he has bewildered me and made me smile.
This gentleman is one of those rare people who seem to have no fear when talking to others. His life, however it may have been lived, seems to have been full. When he left, he turned and waved making me smile once more. Once we parted company I thought about his life. I imagined that his wife would have been very happy living with a man who was cheeky, funny and original. Yet it could be that this was a public veneer, designed to keep others at bay. Whatever the real answer, I learned a lesson from him.
Observation is a key skill when comes to being a writer. Everything you do, see, feel or hear can be catalogued and used later on. Watch, listen and learn from others. See how they interact with the world around them. Surely this gentleman behaved differently to the way I do. I, like most from my city, keep to themselves. Books and phones are used by many as a shield to ward off others ‘I am busy, don’t bother me!’
Take what they are doing and try and understand why. Learning about yourself and the world around you helps to develop your fictional characters and the world you construct for them.
You can always tell me your own observations. You never know, you might be surprised by what you’ve picked up already.