Wednesday, April 9, 2014

You May Be a Latent Novelist if . . .

You're a people watcher.

My favorite writing spot
Some time after I'd sold my first book, or maybe two, I realized that not everyone studies the people around them in line at the store, in the doctor or dentist office, at the airport, while riding on family trips, etc. But I later found that authors and many other creative people do.

How did I learn this? I happened to mention to someone who isn't a writer that one of my husband and my favorite things to do to entertain ourselves and make the time pass when we are taking long car trips or waiting somewhere is to pick a person out around us who catches our interest for some reason or another or driving by us -- particularly in some irratic way -- and start giving that person a back story that evolves into a short story about them. My husband studied fine art and, like me, has done this all his life.

The person I mentioned it to did not routinely make up stories in her head and looked at me as if I were crazy. Her reaction prompted me to ask my writer and non-writer friends if they make up stories about people around them to pass the time when they are in public waiting for something. The writers do. Most of the others looked at me blankly or with great concern.

How about you? Do you have a story in your head about all of the people around you?

-- Jean C. Gordon

Keep in touch with me at,,  @JeanCGordon or  PO Box 113, Selkirk, NY 12158.


  1. Oh, yes. I'm never bored when I go out because I have a nasty habit of listening in on everyone's conversation. New stories are everywhere,

  2. Yes, I've always been a people watcher! I can relate...

  3. I definitely am in "mystery novelist" mode when I'm out and about and people watching. Many people who know me would be shocked if they could read my thoughts.

  4. Hi Jean--
    Great to know I'm not the only one who does this :-) You're lucky that your husband happily participates!