I have written this blog post in the past (or am currently writing it in the future!) thanks to the miracle of technology. Scheduled posts are amazing.
Why am I not writing this today? I am far, far away visiting family with no computer, no internet and no smart phone. Which got me thinking about packing lists and characters in books going on vacation.
The way a person travels can say so much about their character, their likes and dislikes, pet peeves, fears. Do they travel by train, boat, car or plane? Are they planners or prefer a spontaneous trip? Do they research heavily prior to travel, learning local language and customs, or hope that the "universal language" of English will be enough to get by? Is travel meant for relaxation, adventure, familial visit, research, work, a weekend getaway with friends, reflection, solitude, a celebration? Do they prefer business class travel and five star hotels with spa or student fares and cheap hostel digs?
writing exercise: Your character is preparing for a trip to Ireland. Give your character a name, age, nationality and purpose for the visit. What is on his/her packing list?
(Click "read more" for writercizer sample response.)writercizer response:
Jilly O'Hanlan, a single American retiree in her mid-60's off to bike the rolling hills of her grandmother's land
- rain boots
- Ben Gay, hormone pills, Advil
- sleeping bag in case linens at 2 star hotels are unbearable
- tent in case she can't make it to the next town
- credit card with a $20k limit just in case the roads are too rough and she decides to bunk down in luxury
- smart phone with gps (and european plan)
- xeroxed copy of grandmother's personal diary
- grandmother's claddagh ring
- a few hundred cash
- month's supply of Cliff bars
- address book for postcards
- many, many, many pairs of socks
- 2 of each: shorts, pants, t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts
- 1 jacket
- book on castles, celtic knots, history of ireland, and irish customs
- maeve binchy novel
- rough itinerary with towns / hotels and contact information for 45 days
- polaroid camera
- lip balm
- iPod packed with Rocky music, show tunes, celtic music, books on tape and her favorite workout mix