ORNAMENTS AND CHARACTERS
PINE CONES. I love these, and use them on the tree and in my wreaths. I collected them when my children were young. We rolled them in white paint, and they have been a big part of Christmas ever since.
A TINY SKATER. Our first child was born December 22nd, so I spent that Christmas in the hospital. John brought me a tiny skater ornament. She reminds me of that special time in our lives when we became a family.
BLUEBEARD’S CASTLE. Tourist mementos. I have a San Francisco cable car, one from Mount Rushmore, and this one from St. Thomas.
MEDIEVAL KNIGHT. One of the singers at my first book signing gave me this little guy.
FOUR MOOSE SKIING. A reminder of family ski days when we’d ride the lift together.
Now, how can ornaments help character development?
What memories does your character cherish? If it’s pine cones, is it her love of family? Of the child who helped paint the cones?
Is it a little skater, which brings back the time when she taught her daughter how to skate? Or a time when she skated, before the accident that shattered her leg, and it’s a memory that devastates her every time she recalls it now?
Is it the daughter-on-a-blackboard, and her father is depressed because his baby girl is getting married and moving out of the country?
Is it a crystal locomotive, and her brother’s nickname was “Train” and he was killed during a protest? Or he remembers the harrowing railroad ride from Durango after they robbed the train? Did the amateur sleuth tour a museum of sunken treasure at Blackbeard's Castle that gave him an important clue?
Maybe your ornaments are already stored away. Or maybe you don’t decorate a tree, and have no ornaments. St. Nick’s in Littleton is open year-round, and there are many year-round online stores in which to browse. Through ornaments, find some clues to your characters that could add to some colorful images/backstory/details to your work-in-progress.