Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What's in Your Purse (or Pocket)?

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Spring Fling Writers Conference in Chicago, Illinois. This is a conference sponsored by the Chicago North chapter of Romance Writers of America. I went there determined to squeeze every ounce of information I could from this experience, and attended some wonderful workshops. There were sessions on craft (writing a synopsis, research, dissecting a novel) as well as marketing (media marketing, preparing a pitch).
One of the best was one led by Susan Elizabeth Phillips on discussed character-driven plots. She talked about character archetypes and then gave us a challenge: we had to choose one archetype and then write a half dozen details about this character's life that might have helped to shape her (the hour long discussion had us limiting the session to heroines). After that, we were asked to describe the contents of this character's purse. That led to a lively discussion about what those items could tell us about this character.
This exercise led me to wonder what my purse told people about me. I looked, and I found:
1. my phone, with the battery almost dead
2. my wallet, with absolutely no cash
3. a small bottle of hand sanitizer
4. a pair of scissors
5. a bottle of aspirin
6. receipts from things I bought a few years ago
7. two pens and a marker
What do these things tell you about me? I'm not sure what you see, but if I'm ever stuck in an elevator with a cover model I'll be clean, clear-headed, and ready to cut off a lock of his hair for a keepsake. And then I'll be able to write an apology to tuck in his pocket.

                                           Patty Kiyono


Cheryl said...

You are either an ex-Girl Scout or teacher or both, don't like surprises and like to think you're organized but know the secret truth.

Stephanie Michels, author said...

I want to be on that elevator with you, Patty! LOL!