#SaystheEditor and a #WritingPrompt: To Lick or Not to Lick



Do you guys like the graphic? The amazing Magnolia Belle made it for me two years ago, and I’m finally getting around to remembering I have it and should be using it! Pick up her books — I am partial to Lady Gwendolyn, although MB also writes some good Rock Fiction — or get in touch with her about graphics for yourself. She’s awesome people, and I’m proud to know her. And I’m proud to use her work.

So, let’s get to business, shall we?

I was at a business meeting last week. It was a good day: The provided lunch was good. The few people I chatted with were all interesting, and one owns a local Mexican restaurant I used to frequent when I first moved out to Chez West of Mars. If you saw the movie Dogma, you’ve been there, too.

I learned some other things, too, some of which we’re going to apply to writing. Ready?

Like I said, lunch was provided for us. Good food, I must say. But… it was a boxed lunch, which means sandwiches, chips, a pickle (in its own plastic wrapper! How cute!), and a brownie. All of which adds up to finger food.

Know what I learned at this business meeting?

I lick my fingers a lot.

I promised this would tie back into writing, right? This is where I do that. Right here, right now, but I’m sure you can guess what I’m going to say. Yes! Character quirks!

Licking one’s fingers sends a message, no? Think about the various ways one can lick fingers: with gusto, with embarrassment, with nonchalance. What does each say about a character? What else does the character do while licking? (Oh, my, Kota, STOP THAT. This is a clean post! In more ways than one!) How does the character convey their licking style via their clothes? Their hobbies? Their friends, their politics, their general outlook on life? Hell, even the way they walk can all be inferred based on how someone licks their fingers.

Yes, you CAN derive all that just from one simple gesture. Think about it. I bet you’ll see I’m right.

In fact, do more than think about it. Take a character you’re working with. Let them lick their fingers. Show me the scene.

Yes, show it to me! Here in the comments. Go on. Post it. Be brave. Have fun, too.

Not a writer? Who cares? What’s stopping you from trying? Try it; you might have fun. And isn’t fun what life is all about?


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