It’s funny how much we can tell about a person from their word choices for everyday items. Culture, upbringing, education. We get a totally different image about a person who calls a dress a frock vs. one who says gown.
We can use this technique to build deeper characters as well. It’s a fun game that’s sort of like word association.
1. Pick an everyday item. Let’s use a pair of pants.
- 2. Ask yourself how each of your characters would refer to that item, and write down the responses.
3. Do the choices give better insight into your characters? Help with dialogue?
Britches: Southern, rural, informal
Trousers: More proper, possibly a business background.
Fatigues: Army, military, lots of space for weapons and easy to run in
Knickers: English, possibly a historical timeframe
Dungarees: Rugged, adventurous, not as tight-laced as military
Buckskins: Rural, back-to-nature, stealthy
Give it a try!