They walk purposefully toward me in the grocery stores. Their hair is gray or white. They sometimes use the shopping cart to aid their walking. They nearly always start off with a determined, “Honey?” when they talk to me.
I know what they want as soon as I see them. Why? It happens all the time.
I’m tall. They want me to reach something at the back of the top shelf. This item is usually on sale, they have an additional .75 cent off coupon (which will be doubled at the register) and the product has already had a tremendous run on it.
How does a simple thing like height change your perspective on things? I think everything about ourselves—if we’re attractive or not, our geographic location on earth, our level of education—colors our mindset and gives us insights, or possibly even prejudices, that others don’t share.
The first time I saw a picture of Michelle Obama, she stood alone with no frame of reference beside her. I knew immediately that she was tall, though. She wore flats with her dress. She rolled her shoulders in a sort of slump.
I don’t use character questionnaire sheets when developing my characters, but there are many of them online and I understand they can prove useful.
But I do want a handle on my character’s unique perspective on the world. What background, physical attributes, or upbringing contributed to his or her viewpoints? What insights does this perspective provide this character (especially useful to me in crafting a sleuth who relies on intuition to solve a case.)
How do your characters view the world?