Character Source – Using Personalities I Discovered During Travel to Enhance My Writing

Hi all,

I’ve been off the blogging grid for most of the last six and a half weeks, travelling through Europe with my family – apologies for the lack of recent posts. While the two main purposes of this trip were to visit our extended family and introduce my children to the wonders, both natural and man made, of this intriguing continent, I also spent time researching for my next project, a middle grade novel aimed primarily at boys.

Possible settings was one area of research. Here is one location I am toying with including:


Ten points if you know where it is 🙂

I’ll have more on settings in a future post for, as well as this, I spent more time than is probably healthy observing people I met along the way.

IMG_3048There was the toothless elderly stall holder in a Rome market, whose eyes sparked with a zest for life and hinted at a colourful past while she handed me my chosen cherries and tomatoes.

Then there’s the dark-skinned French woman in a train bound for Paris, her elaborately-beaded hair rattling with giggles at our joint conspiracy to sit in the best seats and convince the ticket checker – via two languages – to leave us there (it worked).

I can’t forget the rosy-cheeked and robust New Zealand boy, who showed the locals how it’s done with his expertise at working canal locks (all learnt within the previous half hour, I might add).

And what about the curly-haired office worker, who stayed back past 11pm every night in the office block opposite our London apartment? Did he not have anything, or anyone, to go home to?

These are only a few.

I took note of their appearance, their mannerisms, any quirks. I wondered about their history. And their future. I made notes on what I saw, and more notes on what I imagined, and returned home with evolving character sketches I’m itching to develop further and incorporate into my WIP’s outline.

So now it’s back to it. Until next time,




3 thoughts on “Character Source – Using Personalities I Discovered During Travel to Enhance My Writing

  1. I think it’s wonderful that your whole family was able to go on this trip. Your kids will have a treasure trove of memories as well as tastes of various cultures that will change them forever. 🙂 And your ideas for characters based on the people you saw on your travels will be great additions to your future stories.

    I feel like I’ve seen a photo of that location before… but nothing’s coming to me. Any hints?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Sara, it was a great trip with lasting memories for us all (and a few ideas for me)!

      As to the photo location, it’s the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in northern Wales, the oldest and longest navigable aqueduct in Great Britain, and at 126 feet (38m), it’s the highest aqueduct in the world. An author friend recognized it immediately when I shared this post on Facebook, as a nearby manor was her inspiration for a key location in her children’s series, a series my daughter adores. And to think I never knew!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Setting Source – Using Settings I Discovered During Travels to Enhance My Writing – Rebecca Chaney

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