Today I have a fun tip from Melanie Woods, a lovely MG/YA writer I've gotten to know through e-mail. Melanie doesn't currently have a blog, so you'll have to enjoy her creative smarts here.
WHAT PICTURES WOULD YOU FIND ON YOUR MC'S CAMERA?
It's like that popular line from Forrest Gump: “Mama always said there's an awful lot you can tell about a person by their shoes.” I think the type of pictures a person takes says a lot about that person’s personality.
Let's say you find your main character's camera. You pick it up, press it on to browse through the pictures and discover...
Does your MC take multiple pictures of herself? Perhaps she's vain, or likes fashion, or secretly hopes to become a model someday. Or instead she is self-conscious about her appearance, feels undesirable and needs to reassure herself of physical beauty.
Is your MC adventurous? Maybe he has photos of him trying different tricks and stunts. Does your MC like the outdoors? Your MC might have pictures of flowers and insects and trees. Is your MC humorous? Perhaps he has a ton of pictures of himself doing comical facial expressions.
Is your MC smiling or blank-faced? What about posture: ramrod straight, or slouched over? This can say a lot about whether the MC is cheery or depressed. Are most of the photos of the MC with his friends, or is he by himself in most of them? Could anyone look at the pictures he has taken, or are they for his eyes only?
Even if you don't have a scene in your manuscript where your MC is snapping pictures, this is a great exercise to help you get to know your main character.