Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's The Little Things

Patient in photo may differ in real life
As a PA, I examine people all day long. I do a lot of physicals, and it can get routine. I have a little trick that helps me through the day.

When examining my patient, my back is to the garbage can. You know the little black tips on the ear light (otoscope for those medically inclined)? I like to toss them over my shoulder in a no-look shot. I miss more than my fair share, but the patient isn't expecting it, and it usually makes them perk up a little, enhancing our interaction together.

 Laughter is the best medicine, right?
Today I thought about some of the little touches I'm putting into my WIP. They're the things that may not matter to others, but it keeps my interest in this project I've worked on for so long. They also may lead to story threads.

I'm a soccer fan, and I'm listening to the Euro2012 tournament in between patients. I had my heroine be a star player for her high school team (much better than I ever was). At first it was just a character detail from my background work.

Then it became a plot hinge.

It helped me introduce another character and the connection shared between her and my protagonist. I had no idea that it would turn out that way, but it fit perfectly.

Another tech for the dust bin of history...
Another time I saw a magazine ad with the image of a man and woman resting on the beach, his arm around her from behind (the "spooning" position). I liked the picture, so I cut it out and kept it in my writing notebook for kicks and giggles. I didn't know how I could work it into my story, but I didn't forget it.

I recently hit a point where it made sense to put this set-up in, sans the beach. It isn't important in the scheme of things, but it suggests I should listen to my gut whenever I notice details or come up with some character quirk. You never know when these ideas will play out.

Too bad I lost the memory in my old Palm Pilot (remember those?) where I had so many ideas stashed.

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