Where They Nest, Shows Them Best
(Excerpt from Complete Boot Camp for Fiction Writers)
Expanding Your Character's World for Your Reader
Another sure fire way to telegraph personality to your reader is when you walk your character through their home turf. People can live in a penthouse or in their cars. Their kitchen can overflow with pizza boxes and take-out containers or feature a child’s drawings on the fridge door with a slow cooker bubbling with tonight’s dinner. Their bathroom could feature a sliver of soap, pack of cheap plastic razors and a stinking, overflowing kitty litter box, or thick towels, scented candles and a tray filled with scented bath oils and a bath pillow.
By revealing your character’s home, you reveal who they are in private when no one is looking. Are they house proud or not? Settled or transient? Alone or have a family? Welcoming or a loner? Are they fussy, do they have a beloved pet, are they a collector of some type, or perhaps even a hoarder? The photos they display tell backstory, of personal interests and connections. The art they display indicates taste and sophistication, their décor of style, their possessions or lack thereof, can demonstrate a materialistic or minimalistic yen.
By acting out a scene within your character’s home environment, you get a two-fer. What they say and how they act, with a backdrop that screams out who they are. Nice…