Thursday, March 25, 2010


What do you notice first when you're in a new situation or meeting someone new?

What about your characters?  Have you even thought about it?

Me?  I notice decor, architecture, details like that, if it's a building.  A person?  I'm not sure.  Guys, it's definitely smiles.  I'm a sucker for a killer smile.  I had a roommate who always looked at guys' hands first.

The March/April issue of Writer's Digest devoted their entire workbook section to POV and perception.  It's definitely something to think about with your characters.

The author of the perception article poses these questions:

1- How does this person perceive the world?
2- How does she come to understand her environment?
3- What does she choose to notice and to ignore, and why?
4- What does she want to do with what she learns?

For me, I'm pretty sure I'm auditory with some things.  If I know someone really well, know their voice, etc., if they're in a choir or otherwise large group of people who are singing, if I focus in on their face, I can pick their voice out of the group.

That's one part of my perception.  I look at eyes, too, I think.  But to be honest, I've never really thought about how I perceive the world.  (Other than the sneaking suspicion that everyone is out to get me...Get outta that corner!)

Moving on.

Is this something you've thought about in the past?  Is this completely new to you?  Share your thoughts. I'd love to hear and learn from them.


  1. I've actually been thinking about this a lot lately as I try to beef up my descriptions. How the character sees things really tells the reader a lot about them.

  2. This is one of the things that I have thought about recently with my revisions. Knowing what my characters are going to perceive is going to make the book come alive.

  3. Interesting. I think I've thought about it a lot for my characters. Especially when I'm revising, which is when I get to know them best.

    But for myself... I know I have flaws. I know I look at the world differently than some people. So maybe I have? And when I forget, my husband reminds me that maybe it IS just me. :)

  4. Great thoughts here! I think it's important to be able to see things the way our characters see them - if even for a moment. People's voices are huge for me. I can always tell a lot about a person through their voice.

  5. This is an interesting question. I think for me I notice people's eyes and body language. That may come from being a therapist. And if I'm walking into a new place, I usually focus on the people who are there first before noticing the setting. Food for thought though for sure.


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