Thursday, December 13, 2012

Eating Habits to Reveal Character

The next time you visit a restaurant, watch a table of four to five diners. Make notes on their visual cues and eating behavior. You'll gather material for use to reveal characters and for building scenes in stories.

Check out animal behavior:  Do they eat like Canada Geese,  mice, squirrels, sparrows, lions, birds of prey . . . or?

Watch their gestures:  
Clappers, snappers
Hand waves from elbows on table
Clutch fisters
Palms up side wavers
Nose scratchers
Ear tweakers

What they do with their plates and utensils:
Spooners versus fork users
Knife stabs food item then goes straight to mouth.
Food arrangers: move items around the plate for correct positions.
Napkin usage: folders, ballers, scrunchers

Eating habits:
Pushers away and then up to mouth
Finger eaters
Dainties and little finger wavers

Communal Behavior:
Food sharers, sneakers and stealers

Head postures:
Side to side wags
Cocked one way, then another
Head lean on hand or arm
Lean on another's shoulder

Creative Write: Watch for relationships, insights and interactions. Write a story in gestures and details of body language related to communication and food.  Show the reader what the situation involves. Reveal the individual intentions and results.

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