Returning to his home one eveming, an Indian discovered that his venison which he had hung up to dry had been stolen. His sharp indian eyes studied the surroundings, and then he began tracking the robber through the forest. Crossing a raod he saw a man driving a wagon and motioned him to stop.
“Have you seen a little old white man, carrying a shot gun, follow by a bobtail dog?”
“Yes, I passed him a mile or so north. He a friend of yours?”
“No.” The indian admitted. “I’ve never seen him. He stole my venison.”
“But how could you describe him, if you’ve never seen the man?”
“Easy. I read the signs. He was a little man because he rolled up a stone to stand on to reach the venison. His short steps showed him to be old, and his toes turned out as a white man’s do when walking. His gun left a mark on the tree where he stood it up. The dog’s tracks were small and close together and when he sat on the ground, his bobtail marked the dust.”
This is seeing with perception. You not only look at the thing itself, but you look at the signs that leave the telltale path behind. These are the things you must learn to interpret. Go to a cafe or bus station and watch people. Don’t listen to their words as much as you study their faces (and their body language.)

 

From BASIC STORY TECHNIQUES by  HELEN REAGAN SMITH