Tuesday Spotlight: Kaily Hart

Do You Check Out Other Women?

I’m a big people watcher. HUGE, in fact. It’s one of the reasons I love places like New York and Las Vegas so much. They both have some diverse people and the watching is awesome. It can be a problem because I’m often caught staring and invariably people think I’m rude or just weird and I’m not sure what’s worse :-). Sometimes I’m so busy observing that I may forget I’m supposed to actually be IN a conversation. It’s not unusual for me to be in a group situation and then realize later I probably barely said a word. It’s like I go into uber-stealth-observation-mode and forget what else is around me. I like to catalog everything someone is wearing, top to bottom. I like to understand how they’re wearing their hair and why, I like to watch all their mannerisms, how they walk, hold their hands, their head. I like to see how they express themselves, what their look seems to say about their personality. Of course, if I seem like I’m checking out a hot guy, it’s not so much of an issue. I can just shrug it off, but if I’m caught watching a woman, well…let’s say I’ve had some strange looks. I don’t mean anything by it and I’m pretty equal opportunity when it comes down to it, but I’m in research mode, people!

It’s all of those little details that make up a character and provide the layers you need to make them come to life. I can’t keep writing characters with what I know and I’m sure readers wouldn’t want to continue to read about variations on the same character. I have to learn new things about people I don’t know to be able to breathe life into new, multi-dimensional characters with quirks and issues and flaws and insecurities. So yeah, I check out other women, wherever and whenever I get the chance. Perhaps I need to learn to be better at it?


  1. Ah! I commend your powers of observation, Kaily!

    And I really wish I had the guts to do it… I usually take the train, where I bend my head doing sudoku or reading every scrap of news on the paper.. instead of daring to look at any other person….

    Maybe that’s your secret to providing such well rounded characters 😉 :p And I do hope you keep it up… 😉

  2. LOL Kaily! I don’t think it’s strange to look for inspiration in your day to day life. I do think someone might get the wrong impression some day and hand you their phone number. 😉 Only kidding!

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

  3. Thanks, Ju. I really can’t help it. People are fascinating. And sometimes odd, which makes them even more interesting!

    LOL, Stacie. You know, there have been instances where my ‘regard’ has been mistaken for another level of interest entirely 🙂 but that’s a probably whole other post LOL.

  4. As a kid, I was told not to stare, it was rude, yet it’s hard not to. I’m fascinated by what people wear, what they do in public. I also like to eavesdrop! You’re not alone, Kaily.

  5. Yeah, Cara the eavesdropping is a whole other thing too!

  6. I think people watching is fun and it’s amazing how different people are.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  7. Maureen, I just got back from NY so I was in heaven!!

  8. Yes! I people watch too, and have gotten some side glances for it. I need a pair of darker sunglasses, LOL, but that won’t help me indoors. I really love watching how people (couples, specifically) interact with each other. The body language etc… Great post!

    You know how Stephen King says a great writer needs to be a great reader (paraphrased)? Well, I think they need to be great observers too 😉

  9. Yeah, Rula I certainly think observation is a key skill for a writer!

  10. My office overlooks the front driveway and I love watching the comings and goings of the neighbors.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

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