In This Chapter
Depicting what your characters own
Representing people through objects
Using objects to hint at character
In Thomas Pynchon’s wild, blackly comic novel V (1963), a character called Rachel Owlglass has a peculiarly intense relationship with her MG car. She loves it – and when I say she loves it, I mean really loves it! Although the relationships your characters have with material things don’t need to go that far, how the characters relate to objects is vital in creating and revealing their personalities and perhaps making changes in their lives over time. Therefore, one of the most important devices you have in your writing toolkit is the skill to describe and employ physical items effectively.
I cover using objects in all kinds of ways in Chapter 2, but here I focus specifically on employing objects and possessions to give personality to your characters, including the symbolic and representational values attached to items, how they can act as subtle clues to character and their role in ...