Before you start writing your comment about what “moves” your characters let me stop you. That is NOT what I’m talking about. And frankly, I’m not even interested in that topic because I’m sure most of you have read my rant on all the people who claim to be so “moved” by books and all that junk. Yeah…don’t get me started.
Anyway, I am talking about what your characters actually get around in, what they drive. I can’t tell you what hardly any of my favorite characters drive. I know Harry Bosch mostly gets around in an unmarked LAPD Police Interceptor. These are the black cars with the spotlight in the front that you see driving around every once in awhile. They probably remind you of a Crown Victoria, but they’re not. For future reference, there could very well be a police detective in there. I know Kinsey Millhone used to drive an old Volkwagon Beetle. But she also used to walk from place to place quite a bit. I know at least one of my favorite characters drives around in an old Chevy Nova, but I have no idea who it is. The point I’m making is that in my reading experience the vehicles of the characters in the story have not been a big deal.
I can of course tell you what cars I’ve mentioned in my writing. My protagonist drives what he often refers to as an “old Mitsubishi.” Sydney drives a BMW. There have been a couple other cars mentioned, but none that the reader was ever in.
I’m just thinking about how much thought writers put into what their characters drive. I mean, I know just about every choice a writer makes is calculated and made for some reason, but I’m thinking there is a long list of things that would come before trying to decide what make and model car your MC should have. You all should definitely know by now that my character is me, and I bet you’d guess that I gave him my car. That was all the thought I put into what he drives. Although in my second book, which is indefinitely on the backburner, I gave a young, attractive, intelligent lawyer a car that’s something of status symbol. So eh, maybe I think about it more than I know.
Tell me about you and your characters. What do they drive and how do you make such a decision?
This post was inspired by the fact that I just got a new car yesterday! I had my first car since just before the start of my senior year in high school and it was definitely time for a change.
This was my first car.
This is my new one.