Go Ahead and Snoop: Making Fictional Characters Curious


Admit it, you’ve snooped in someone’s house before. A bathroom cabinet, a dresser drawer. You flipped open a Bible that was sitting on an empty seat in church to see their notes, lying to yourself that you really just needed to see who it belonged to so you could turn it in, oops it opened in the middle…

You’ve walked into a friend’s home and opened their fridge, wanting nothing in particular, just…looking. As you get out of your car, you glance into the one parked next to you. How many more french fries can one vehicle handle? Nice undies lying around. I bet that old crusty baby bottle smeeeeelllllls! Oh, a dollar! Door’s locked. On your way home, after dark, you have near misses with mailboxes because you can’t help but peer in lighted windows.

Why do we do these things?

Nosy? Busybodies? Possibly.


We’re curious about human behavior–about people. That’s why we read. We want to know what others think, do, say, and where others go. We find relief in knowing we’re not so different, or relief that we’re better off (sad but true).



Don’t forget the details that make your characters interesting. Ask the question, “What would be in his/her medicine cabinet, fridge, drawer, backseat, etc? Then put those items there.  Know who you’re writing about well enough to know the answers.

Make characters curious. Have a character open a fridge, a medicine cabinet, glance at mail when the friend is out of the room. Things you have done or want to do.

What do you think? If you see basic human behavior in a seemingly invincible character does he or she become more believable to you?

Have a great weekend! The winner in Monday’s giveaway for Susie Brown’s Small Wonders is Michelle Massaro!

8 thoughts on “Go Ahead and Snoop: Making Fictional Characters Curious

  1. Woo Hoo! Thanks, Jessica and Susie! I'm looking forward to it! =)

  2. Oh, that's so true. Soemtimes those little tidbits in our writing can really mean so much to describe a character.

  3. This is a very interesting post. There is always one real nosy person around…at work, in the neighborhood, at the store…I think you have to work curious behavior into your writing. It's a natural part of us.

    Have a great weekend!

  4. Now I'm trying to think if I've ever had my characters snoop….how sad is it that I don't have one single snooper??

  5. yes, my current character is a snooper. This post really made me visualize some additional things she could do to "snoop." Hope you have a great weekend.

  6. This is a great post. I'll have to think about how to apply this to my latest wip.

  7. I definitely have my characters snoop, not that I would do that, of course!!

  8. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More on on that Topic: jessicarpatch.com/2011/04/go-ahead-and-snoop-making-fictiona/ […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *