What about visual cues? What about those nervous habits that people have? How many of these things make their way into your writing? I often find myself studying people while I work, watching how they turn their feet when they walk or hold their face when they make a bet. The look on the face of a guy who is chasing his money is vastly different from the lady who has just arrived and is buying into the game for the first time. Chasers have a hard, pinpoint look in their eyes. They remind me of bird dogs going on point. They have the scent of their prey and know they way. The lady who is just sitting down may be a regular or not, but her eyes are clearer and more open to the upcoming experience. Her smile is natural. The Chaser? He’s usually angry. More often than not it’s anger at himself but it comes out in a numerous ways. He’ll verbally abuse the dealer for dealer him crappy cards, or he’ll chastise another player for taking a questionable hit. He can even blame the waitress for distracting him at a key moment.
All of these things go through my mind every time I sit down to write. Which of these cues will make it into my writing that day? It’s possible that none of them will. It’s possible I’ll forget all about them in favor of being lost in the craft of piecing words together. My balance can be tilted toward getting something to eat rather than fine tuning a character to be more three dimensional. It’s really just a daily crapshoot and I put my money on the line and pick up the dice like everyone else. Some days I win.
Happy Mother’s Day!