what’s in a pocket?

What’s in a pocket? That which can define a character
Would be revealed by a simple examination of their belongings.
(I am not Shakespeare, I know.)

I’ve decided to try and give some advice about making things up. This is also to help me, because I sometimes come up with things and forget them. So this first thingy is about fleshing out a character. I stole it from my Creative Writing class (my teacher probably stole it from some class he’d taken) and it was a prompt one day:

Make a list of the things in a character’s pocket (or purse, or sock drawer, or bedside drawer, or backpack, or whatever).

It’s a really handy way to give your character depth. Just thinking about what they’d keep in some strange compartment (and why) gives them another layer. Even an epic fantasy (imagine what Legolas keeps in his sock drawer!) or science fiction (what would you find in Ford Prefect’s pocket?) character can go through this: what’s at the bottom of their satchel, what odd objects float in their infinite space cube?

To start, I’m subjecting my character Cory Fraizer to this treatment. BELOW THE BREEAAK…

Cory Fraizer’s Backpack (that pocket in the front)

  • a few water bottle lids
  • 5 pennies
  • 3 nickels
  • an Arizona state quarter
  • a wooden pencil, sharpened to a nub
  • two halves of a plastic mechanical pencil
  • a dead red pen
  • a pack of stale spearmint gum
  • a handful of crumpled up, vaguely threatening notes from other students
  • French I notecards
  • a torn piece of paper with half a sketch of Magneto on it
  • old bandage
  • lots of gum and hard candy wrappers
  • a pair of broken prescription sunglasses
  • a small, old sandwich bag of dried fruits

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