Do you want to have fun and develop your character’s personality in the process? By visiting open houses, we can reveal character traits, identify their quirks and, let’s face it honey, we give ourselves permission to get nosey.
In a previous writer assignment we breathed life into our characters by constructing a good place for them to live. But, suppose those contrary characters emerged with the personality of a cucumber. What’s a writer to do?
It’s time to take action! Grab the Sunday classifieds and scout for real-estate ads of occupied open houses. For our purpose, it’s a time-waster to tour new homes.
Don’t forget your writer journal.
Open Houses Reveal Character Traits
Don’t allow a starving real-estate agent to rush your assignment. Say something like: “Wow, this home is terrific. May I wander though it alone?”
Put your attention on the details. What is in the vestibule as you enter? You would get a good belly-laugh from my whimsical prosperity frog. A gold coin protrudes from his mouth, symbolizing prosperity for all who are invited into my home.
Slowly stroll about and observe the plaques and pictures. For example, what would a picture of a goddess in a filmy dress, standing knee-deep in water reveal about your character? Notice any plaques in the kitchen, like “When the cook ain’t happy, nobody’s happy?”
Sniff deeply of the homes aroma. Envision your male character baking those peanut butter cookies when he’s stressed? What brand of perfumes, colognes are in the bathroom? Are scented candles or potpourri in baskets scattered about?
If there is an option, peek into the closets. In mine you would see an authentic Japanese kimono and silk blouses in various colors hanging next to it. Would your female character resonate with the tactile-ness of silk caressing her bare skin?
If you’re working on a murder mystery, pay attention to household objects, which could do double-duty as a murder weapon.
Check out the backyard. Could your characters solve problems in the porch swing? Or snuggle under a blanket and gaze at the stars and each other’s eyes? Are they private people, who have an eight foot fence?
Let your conscience dictate whether or not to take pictures with your cell phone or camera. Or, try a little flattery, depending on just how hungry the agent is for a sale, she may grant permission.
Develop Character Personality
You’ll no doubt want to scribble notes in your writer journal as quickly as possible. Drive to the nearest coffee shop, treat your wise writerly self a lovely latte and begin to develop your character’s personality.
There! That should teach cardboard characters to mess with the caliber of writer you are! How much do you want to bet they’ll open-up and start non-stop chattering when you get home?
Did you have fun touring open houses to reveal your character’s traits? Great! Do it again the next time you are stuck.
Are you excited to read additional journal assignments written by this author?