Part of me wants to write about the fabulous local/regional music scene we have here in Connecticut, yet I am going to save that one for another day and write a bit about process today.
I’m back at the coffee shop, the one with the fabulous egg sandwiches, and there are two forty-something women sitting across from me going through their children’s attributes and concerns.
“Something is up at that school. I heard from Jane’s mother that she scored in the top 15 on that placement test and her daughter got into Algebra while my sweet Angel scored top ten and is being ostracized by her friends because they are in the higher math and she isn’t.”
“You should do something,” her friend encourages.
“I’m considering meeting with the principal to rectify this situation,” adding that, “I have already emailed twice with no response”
These two are potential characters, stereotypes, yet characters just the same.
Of course as a writer, I would need to take their complications and escalate to make it interesting.
A great example of doing this is my book Maximum Mayhem. Maximum Mayhem started because my friend was late to meet me for a quick drink at a local dive in my town. As I waited at the bar, I listened to the conversation happening next to me. Two woman talked about another, go figure. The conversation revolved around a third friend whose husband happened to be having an affair.
This is where it gets good – they didn’t know if they should tell their friend. (Isn’t that the definition of a friend; to be honest?) Being part of this small town, between me and my drinking partner, we knew all the involved parties. Okay – affairs happen. So I brought in a hot F.B.I. agent and turned the scandalous affair into a scam to embezzle funds from the much successful wife.
The plot line worked. Apparently the affair works too because the couple is still married and the affair is still, according to town gossip, active.
Sometimes it doesn’t, at least by my curiosities.
In the case of the forty-somethings, they mentioned the town and the school. The story takes place in every town and because of this, I find it boring. I do however, have an all new respect for the fella in charge of the school. Whatever they pay him is not enough to put up with these two!
So for my writer friends out there, if you are stuck try this; take your laptop on a date. Go to a place with people. Sit and listen. Then type and see what you come up with – hopefully a good start!