“People was treat you like you have money,” I said. I was walking with my grandmother to her car in the library parking lot. I was 14.
“What do you mean?” she asked, unlocking her red Chevrolet hatchback.
I waited for her to buckle her seat belt. “They treat you better than they treat some other people but you don’t have any money or anything. I mean…Oh, I don’t know what I mean but they listen and do what you want.”
“I don’t know about that, sweetheart.” She put the car into gear. “It’s probably my posture. Posture is very important. You know that I don’t ever want to see you slouch. Now, where shall we go for lunch?”
I took my acting class tonight and it made me think about the way people carry themselves (I don’t slouch by the way), move through a room, and move around other people. This isn’t an entirely new thought. In grad school sometimes a friend and I distracted ourselves from our books by commenting how people walked and what it said about them. But tonight this acting class exercise made me think about characters and how they move–the fast walkers and the slow walkers. The ones who lead with their head and the ones who lead with their pelvis. The ones who zip and the one who drag. I don’t know that this detail will make it into the story, but it seems I ought to know.
Have you ever considered how your characters move and what it says about them?