Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

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Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Who's watching who?

Other people fascinate me. Okay, some might call me a nosy parker, but I can't help it. I love listening to people's stories, the tone of their voice, accent, opinions, facial expressions, how they dress/move. I also love talking to people and I think it's a brilliant way of getting to the heart of a story or to do a character study.

I have been watching the Jeremy Kyle show and Trisha a bit over the last couple of weeks. I don't normally watch them as I don't generally care who the father of baby K is or whether Kelly had an affair with her partner's brother. The people on these programmes seem to inhabit a different world to mine and that's what I think makes it good viewing - for research purposes.

There is a potential plethora of characters, all boasting any number of conflicts on these shows, and what do characters and conflict make .... all together now ..... "STORIES!" These shows are a dream come true. I have whiled away many a glorious hour watching these shows recently. But I honestly cannot for the life of me figure out how most of them got into such difficulties in the first place and how they try and rationalise their generally destructive behaviour. It's strangely compulsive to watch.

I think human behaviour is so complex and diverse that I never tire of observing people. I have plenty of opportunity to people watch at the school gates, at public meetings, in cafes, town centres, my own neighbourhood. With such a diverse number of settings and so many different people frequenting them I am always guaranteed plenty of characters to choose from.

Only one thing bothers me. Am I the only one watching people or are some of those I am watching also writers watching me for a character study?! I wonder what kind of character they would see me as. Perhaps it's best I never find out!

Julie xx


Olivia Ryan said...

Scary thought, Julie!! I wonder what sort of character you would LIKE to be portrayed as, in another writer's work? Would we all like to be seen as something we're not - maybe adventurous and mysterious if really we think we're a tad ordinary? Or would we prefer to be shown as the sort of person we believe ourselves to be (talented writers but humble about it, of course!)?

Julie P said...

It certainly is scary, Olivia! It just struck me that we all have different personas depending on what situation we are in (and in my case what time of the month it is!!) Most of the time I try to be aimiable and go with the flow. But if something upsets me, or I think an injustice has been done, particularly to my family or friends then I'm like a woman possessed!! I don't mean in an aggressive way - violence solves nothing. But I'm always fair in my comments and it's always for a good reason.

I try to be tolerant but when people, who should know better, do something stupid and it effects others in a negative way it really annoys me!

I'm not sure if I'm getting more or less tolerant as I get older. I do a lot of campaigning for the safety of pedestrians walking up up to school. Some parents who drive their kids to school think it's okay to drive on the pavements making pedestrians stop, so they can get round cars coming in the opposite direction the road. So I would dread to think what they think about me! One of them recently said I was setting a bad example to my daughter by not getting out of her car's way when she wants to mount the pavement - and she had a daughter the same age as mine at the school(?!)

It would be really interesting to be a fly on the wall and listen to people observing and talking about me - and how they perceive me. I might not like what I hear but it would still be fascinating!

It's the ordinary stuff about people that's so extraordinary.

Julie xx