Did you see them? Or did they go unnoticed?

photo by Jenny Downing

The person in the car behind you. The people at the table beside you.

Unless you’ve spent all day in NaNoWriMo cavern (welcome to the world), there are people all around you with stories that need to be explored.

Maybe their lifestories but maybe not.

Maybe the way she smiled at him reminds you of how your newlywed characters react to each other. Describe her smile on your character’s face.

Maybe the way he dressed made you think of your character searching frantically for work. Describe his struggle.

Her unruly children, his gait, and their argument. Each one could be a launching point for your creative work.

Inspiration and stories are everywhere around you, if you’re willing to look for them.


Notice the people around you with stories that need to be explored. Turn the people you watch into characters and explore their stories.

Then post your practice in the comments and comment on a few other practices.

Katie Axelson
Katie Axelson

Katie Axelson is a writer, editor, and blogger who’s seeking to live a story worth telling. You can find her blogging, tweeting, and facebook-ing.