Let's Talk with Diane A.S. Stuckart
In the Bag
I was searching online for an interesting blog subject for this month when I stumbled across the following topic prompt: What’s in your bag? The question was meant for the person writing the blog post to answer, but as a writer, I think this query would be a simple but brilliant way to get to know my characters. Because what we (fictional character or real person) carry with us on a daily basis reflects what we find important or what we think we need to get through life.
Most of us bag-carriers tote phones and keys and wallets, maybe makeup or brushes and combs or even a laptop. But what about the person who always keeps a candy bar stashed in their bag? Diabetic, or simply a chocoholic? Or the person who keeps actual photos instead of pulling out their phone to display pictures of their loved ones? Deliberately old school, or perhaps a tad superstitious?
We all joke about the infamous “mom” purse the size of a suitcase that holds everything from snacks to wet wipes to board games. And remember how everyone always speculated about what the late Queen Elizabeth II carried in her ever-present pocketbook? (For the record, according to the royal biographer it was a mirror, lipstick, mint lozenges and reading glasses.) Bottom line, what’s in your bag is you!
For a writer, asking the bag question of your characters not only can help you get to know them, it’s also an excellent means of crafting a fully rounded character from the ground up. Open your blank canvas of a character’s bag (or purse/reticule/rucksack, depending on the time setting) and decide that he or she carries a knife or a gun.
You’re on the road to creating a baddie…or else an uber-ly prepared good guy/gal. Add a pair of gloves, and he might be a cat burglar. Unless the gloves are silk and go past her elbows, in which case she might be a Regency-era miss of some standing. Fill that bag until your character is fully fleshed out and start writing. And when you are stuck wondering what that character would do in a particular fictional situation, you can simply open their bag again for inspiration.
So, what do you (or your favorite fictional character) carry in your (or their) bag that tells people something about you (or them)?
While you’re here, visit our March contest page. One winner may select a book from the titles pictured. The contest runs from March 1-18. CLICK HERE.
Want to know more about author Diane A.S. Stuckart? Visit her website.
Posted in Let's Talk, with Diane A.S. Stuckart • Tags: Diane A S Stuckart, In the bag, Let's Talk | 17 Comments