I sometimes wonder, how as a writer, we create our characters. One of the things I know I do, is people watch.
I found myself walking down the street and seeing a man struggle with his umbrella, it was raining, cloudy, not really cold, but with the rain, it was far from comfortable. And I wondered where he was going, what he was doing? Did he have anyone he was going home to? Was he even going home?
I looked at him; his slightly disheveled beard, a hurried, harried look in his eye and the distracted slant to his mouth, and created a whole persona for him! I gave him a name, age, family and all sorts of things; like a job, worries and occupations. He became more than a passing acquaintance to me on the street.
I had to stop and think about the many times I’ve done this and, inevitably, keep doing it. It has become second nature to me to wonder about other people and create that mini world for them. I know I am probably far away from the mark, but people watching is a pastime that I have been doing for many years, an enjoyable pastime!.
So, the next time you go out, make up an alternate universe for a passing stranger, perhaps they are doing the same thing for you!