Warming up to write

A vest can keep you warm.

A vest can keep you warm. Joseph Gordon-Levitt photo from http://meninvests.tumblr.com/page/3

It has been a cold and busy week here in Seattle.  At 25 F degrees out, my fingers suddenly don’t type very well. After I drop off my kid at the bus, it takes a few minutes to warm up my hands around a second cup of coffee. Meanwhile, I’m on the computer searching for images of my characters. Once I realized that my book was going to center on college students on a study-abroad program in London, I started looking for images of them.

There are a million blogs written by students doing study-abroad.  I stumbled upon an easy way to find them.  Seriously, I can just enter study-abroad London into Google and any random girl’s name, and I am certain to find a blog.  I’ve gotten lots of ideas for secondary characters and the challenges they will face on their first trip away from home.

Developing my main characters is a little harder.  I’m several scenes into the first act, but small things like eye color keeps changing and sometimes the wind is blowing long hair, sometimes there are curls.  I know instinctively what my characters should not look like, but the details are a little fuzzy about what they should look like. I don’t want to steal anyone’s life, but to borrow a small detail or two.  Sometimes I just want to clarify how a 28-year-old looks vs. a 18-year-old.

For my male lead,  I want a young character that has a sense of fashion from an older period.  I was looking up steampunk from google images but the results were all more costume than everyday.  Then I realized I wanted to see just one item.  The men’s vest.  I am amazed but there is a tumblr called men in vests, and it is perfect.

This may all seem like a bit of procrastination.  But I call it a warm up, at least for my eyes:)

by Janis 

ps. if you did a study-abroad program in London at some point in your life, I’d love to ask you a few questions…


About writeinseattle

Two Seattle writers examining the writer's life.
This entry was posted in For Fun, Janis Wildy about writing, On Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Warming up to write

  1. I did a study abroad in 2010 🙂 Still living in London. Happy to help if you have questions!

  2. Thanks! I love your blog concept! I’m investigating the ways students can get into trouble while on study-abroad programs;)

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