Saturday, March 04, 2006


This week pay particular attention to the elderly when you're making notes of people you see in your writer's notebook

As an exercise, try listing least a dozen ways to suggest someone is very old. Then scroll down and see some others that you may want to note as you're observing.
oversized nose and ears
amount of hair (many women's hair thins as they age too)
hair line
color of hair
condition/thinness of skin
age spots
shaky hands
slow pace
unsteady gait
quality of vision
sensible shoes
pants hiked up
condition of hearing
quality of voice
bird-like appetite
attitude or outlook
where they are on Saturday night

Half of the above are mine and half from "Funny, you don't look 75" in What If?: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter.

(There's also a revised edition in hard back of What if? but I haven't seen that one yet.)
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