I remember when I was little, maybe eight or nine, going to play at my friends’ houses and being envious of their rooms. It didn’t matter which friend or what kind of room it was, I was always in awe of something – the shelf stacked with board games, the cool giant clock on the wall, the wide bay window full of cushions. It was a simple envy. I thought that if I could have a cool room like those I would be a cool kid too.
It was just a lack of confidence speaking, I realise now. My room was great, but I didn’t think so because I projected my feelings onto my room. My friends were probably every bit as awkward as I was, but I didn’t notice because I extrapolated from the interesting things I saw in their rooms to what I thought they felt.
Surroundings have always fascinated me since then. I like to think about how the objects I have accumulated over the years and the surroundings I make for myself reflect the sort of person I am. In fiction, it’s amazing to think of how much you can learn about a character just from the surroundings that he or she exists in.
What does your room or house look like, and what does it say about who you are?
Think about your character. What objects would you find in their bedroom or house that tell us about who they are? Or look at the rooms in this post.. What sort of characters do these rooms belong to?