My characters are irritating me. I’m itching to get to the action, but here they go, talking it all out, establishing what they know. It’s maddening.
“Come on,” I shout at them. “Let’s go.”
But, no. They continue to challenge each other’s memories, grasp of what’s going on, and what they’re supposed to do. It rankles me.
Yet, I understand it. They’re people who have been forced together, selected for what they don’t know and what they haven’t done. They’re not the same people they were earlier in the series. Of course they’re confused. Some are also resentful, angry, and suspicious. In this situation, some don’t speak, but watch and listen. Others must verbalize it all.
I thought, hey, let’s initiate an attack on them.
No. That was rejected.
Not even a sniper killing one of them?
A fight among them?
An interruption, something that disrupts them and forces them to action, a realization, perhaps, or a sense of urgency? Only Richard has a sense of urgency. (Richard has assumed the mantle of mastermind at this point. The other character that’s restless and worried is Seven. But she’s an imaginary character, existing in imaginary time, biding the moment when she acts, waiting to see what happens, because she thinks she might have screwed it up.)
No; they’re talking.
They’re doing pages and pages of talking.
It’s too much dialogue, in my opinion. It kills the pace.
Sorry, the characters and muse answer. Pace isn’t our concern.
I guess I’ll let them talk for now, and then see if I can edit or revise it later. Honestly, working through their dialogue seems like the only way to move forward.
It was a frustrating day of writing like crazy. Thank god for coffee.
Coffee, writing, beating your head against things, wondering where it all comes from…this quote is about it all.
I worked with an officer while stationed at Shaw AFB, SC. He was a navigator who graduated college with a degree in Literature, and he wrote poetry on the side.
Music of the era set him off. He thought the lyrics were shallow and the liberties taken with grammar annoyed him. People used to sing in full, coherent sentences, telling a story, he would say, and the songs were often very poetic. He was my age, and it amused me that this upset him, because that’s not what popular music is about. It’s a reflection of the times and how language is used. It’s dynamic. Those were exactly some of the things that he mourned as going wrong.
I remember once we were getting ready to deploy to Egypt. Killing time as we had to do in those situations, we talked music, and he singled out this song, which had been released a few years before, as one that he particularly disliked – his exact words. His diatribe made me laugh.
Here is Eddy Grant with “Electric Avenue” from 1982.
Inflooftigate (catfinition) – the systematic and wary progressive process a cat or dog uses to explore or examine something.
In use: “Seeing the toy mouse on the floor, the cat began to inflooftigate. First, he stopped and stared. When the toy didn’t move or make a sound, he approached it a few steps. Stopping short, he leaned forward and avidly sniffed it. When it still didn’t register as something he knew or as a threat, he tapped it with a paw. That’s when the remote control was used to turn the mouse on. As the toy lit up and squeaked, the cat ended his inflooftigation by springing back in alarm.”
I was with my friend, Ron, sitting at a cafe table outside. Another friend of mine, Marge (who doesn’t know Ron, and lives across the country in Ohio), came up. She said, “Can you think of anyone who played God in movies?”
As Ron and I took in the question with a look at one another, Marge said, “I’ve tried, and I can’t think of anyone.”
I said, “Well, off the top of my head, I can think of Morgan Freeman, George Burns, Alanis Morrisette – remember? She was God in Dogma.”
Ron said, “Morgan Freeman played God?”
“Yes,” I said, “in that Jim Carrey thing. I think it was called Bruce Almighty or something. I’ve never seen the whole thing. I think I saw some of it in a hotel.”
“Oh, yeah,” Ron said.
I said, “Didn’t Whoopi play God in something, too?”
None of us were sure. Marge said, “Thank you.” As she did, Ron and I pulled out laptops to Google actors who played God in movies.
That was the dream, short, sharp, and clear. What’s not clear is what it meant and why I dreamed it. My guess is that it was some food generated neuron frenzy.
I never asked Marge why she asked the question.