Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What Shall I Say?

Art by Mary Engelbreit

So, I've run into some trouble-spots in my novel. I can google "prairie flowers in Texas" and "saloon decor in the 1870's" but my characters are having issues. They need to talk things out, but they don't know what to say. Any ideas?
  • Ruby was seduced by a cowboy just passing through town. She has just realized she's pregnant, and knows her recently widowed mother will be devastated. How does she tell her?
  • Leo has fallen in love with Ruby who works in a saloon "entertaining gentlemen" to support her son. She thinks of herself as a fallen woman, unworthy of a decent man. Leo needs to convince her that she is a good person. What does he say?
  • JJ is ten years old, shopping in town with his father, Leo. He overhears someone say that his mother was a "tramp" and that he was illegitimate—the result of a one-night stand. He's furious that people are spreading hateful rumors about his mother. Later JJ tells Ruby what he heard, and she has to tell him it's true. How does she explain it?
What do you say?

(Put in a good word or two
and I might mention you when I'm on Oprah.)


*Homework:

~Everyone has a unique voice. Write a short dialogue between two characters, and make them sound different from each other.

~Listen in on a conversation and notice speech patterns. What do they tell you about the person?

~Write a paragraph using slang words that pinpoint when you were a teenager. (Example: "We went to a groovy flick. It was boss.")







4 comments:

the wrath of khandrea said...

four words will provide you with a succinct yet definitively clear story:

BOW-CHICKA-BOW-BOW

please mention me on oprah during her "give away a car" day.

Diane said...

Are your characters matter-of-fact take-the-bull-by-the-horns people, or do they pussyfoot around? That will make a difference in how they approach these conversations. Ruby's mantra could be "I got bad news".

ELLOUISESTORY said...

Even after countless years research on Soap Operas I cannot begin to touch this. How did you get them into these messes? Oh, I get it - this must be real life.

erivatro said...

Was Ruby a saloon girl before she became pregnant, or just an ingenue?