Writing a runaway/homeless character?
It’s very possible that one day you’ll want to write a runaway, or someone living on the streets, or someone who is just up to no good, or all of the above! You need some good old research. Well here; I did some of that work for you!
Obviously not all of these characteristics/actions are interchangeable so use discretion (i.e. I’m not implying that all homeless people jump borders or shoplift, but some may if they get desperate. These are just suggestions).
Runawayguide - Yep, this guy ran away from home when he was 16 and is currently traveling the world. My favorite posts of his:
- How to Eat Cheap Around the World
- How to Sleep on the Street
- How to Avoid Being Robbed
- How to Hitchhike
- How to Jump Trains
- How to Jump a Border
- How to Sneak into Anywhere
- Runaway Backpacker Jobs
(Also make sure to read through the comments on his posts because a lot of his visitors tell plenty outrageous stories to get your ideas rolling.)
Wikihow - You know it. Like Wikipedia, I wouldn’t put my full trust in them, but they’re pretty thorough. Runawayguide already discusses some of this stuff, but these are good “big idea” articles.
Other articles - I can’t guarantee that any of these are 100% accurate or trustworthy, so if you’re having your doubts try to get a few more sources to back it up.
- How to Live Life on the Run
- How to Steal a Dead Person’s Identity
- How to Steal from a Vending Machine
- Tips for Shoplifting
- Working Without a Social Security Number
- Ten Things Novels Get Wrong about Homeless People
- “My First Night Homeless”
- How to Live in a Boat
- “A Message to Homeless Teens”
- Hygiene on the Road
- Interesting Chart Differentiating Between Poor, Middle Class and Wealthy
- Spent (Can You Make It Through the Month with $1,000?) - Interactive Game
Also, FYI, it is legal for adolescents in most states to run away. I wasn’t aware of this at all before my research and thought it was a cool tidbit.
Please feel free to add your own references/resources!