Something I do when I am fleshing out a new character is to establish his/her frame of reference. What does he like? What type of clothes does she wear? What car does he drive? I like to reach way back to their childhood and figure out what TV shows were big at the time, what music played on the radio and what major events were playing out on the world stage. By thinking about the influences in his or her early life, I can gain insight into the person the character is now.
In that vein, I always picture what the person's childhood bedroom would look like. Did she have a four poster bed with frilly pick sheets? Or maybe she was into sports with a closet chock full of assorted balls and pads and helmets.
What hung on her walls? Maybe a Backstreet Boys poster or even a photo of Carl Sagan. Such imagery can give the reader a better glimpse into the character's background. When I think back to my own childhood, I remember my bedroom walls were covered with the sexy male singers and actors of the day. For years, Jackson Browne graced my walls along with David Soul of Starsky and Hutch. (yeah, I know. I'm old!)
When I asked my husband what posters he had, he smiled like a lovesick puppy. "Farrah Fawcett," he said. "She was wearing a bathing suit and had her head thrown back and a big smile on her face." He obviously wasn't searching for the Farrah Fawcett type when he married me!
So I ask you -- What hung on your walls when you were a child?
Long and Hard, which is now available in print. It features the stories Sizzle at Sea, Loose Lips and Crescendo.