Driving home from work I noticed a grey jacket sprawled on the median. My first thought was, how did it get there and does the person who owns it know it’s missing? I imagined for a moment what the person was like and multiple people came to life. Imagine video footage like that of all the people who come up to an ATM machine. There’s the work guy who threw it on the back of the truck and didn’t notice it hung off the end of a ladder just waiting for a gust of wind to catch it like a kite. There’s the upset teenage girl who closed the car door not seeing that it fell from her back pack. The woman who packed a gym bag for after work, put it up on the top of the car and forgot about it. Along with the jacket I can expect to see, shorts, running shoes, a towel. But these are random people, maybe one of whom actually lost that jacket or maybe the story is still more mysterious.
That got me thinking. If it were my main character what article of clothing would she leave on the top of her car roof and how would she react to find it was gone? That’s easy. Maisey would have left her North Face packable white puffer coat that has pink piping along the zipper and collar. Would she be upset that it blew away? No. She wants to shed all things from her old life, the life she had before she met Tyler, before she was embroiled in working with both criminals and the FBI.
What about your main character? Give it some thought. What would the article of clothing look like? How would it have ended up on the roadside? How would your character react to realizing it was gone?
Please share the answer to those questions! I’d really like to hear. It’s good fun and great for fleshing out your character in your mind which will come out in your writing whether you tell the tale of the missing item or not.