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Writer`s Block II

by  Fredja

Posted: Friday, March 07, 2014
Word Count: 1491
Summary: A story that is entirely dialogue between the author and one of his/her characters. (1460 words)




Writer’s block
‘Why am I here?’
‘This guy running the course says it’s a good idea to try talking to one of your characters. So, being a conscientious sort of bloke and, actually, a bit stuck I thought I’d give it a go.’
‘Good advice – because you’re not very good at this are you?’
‘Well thanks. What brought that on?’
‘I was thinking about that new character, what’s her name?’
‘I don’t know they’re all new to me, I’ve just made them up.’
‘Lisa, that’s it. Well I was thinking that if I took her for a drink and she asked about what school I went to I’d have no idea. She’d think I was a weirdo – I mean – ‘where did you go to school?’ ‘I don’t know nobody told me.’ That’s not going to get me far is it?’
‘Well I don’t know either. I haven’t thought about it.’
‘You made me support Brighton when I come from Newcastle – what’s that about? But you can’t decide where I went to school.’
‘I’ve got lots to think about. All the other characters, the plot, whether it’s bloody raining. It’s hard work.’
‘Cue the violins, my heart bleeds. All the effort of lifting that pen and the toll the keyboard takes on your finger ends. Oh, it must be terrible for you. Bollocks – an eight hour shift down a pit – that’s work. It’s more effort to comb my hair – which you gave me thank God – or at least, thank you, because you’re God to me you know.’
‘I know I’ve God like powers – I can make you fat, thin, a pilot, a gravedigger, a virgin. But I’m not actually God and I can’t do everything at once.’
‘Here careful with that virgin idea. That’s another thing about me. I’m a fit, healthy bloke in the prime of life, one of your main characters, we’re 50,000 words in and I haven’t had my leg over yet. What’s going on?’
‘Is that all you think about?’
‘You’re asking me. I work in Newcastle. It’s mid-summer. Don’t you think as I walk home through Bigg Market on a Friday night some thought of sex might just float up?’
‘You don’t go home through Bigg Market.’
‘Oh, well done. Just wondering if you knew who I was. You spend enough time with that other fella, the nutcase that killed an old woman in cold blood. He’s a right psycho, I’d watch it if I were you.’
‘He’s not a psycho, that’s the whole point.’
‘Well I don’t know that do I? Does that mean I don’t catch him? My career will be right down the pan if I don’t clear this up. Mind you I’m not surprised, I don’t get much time on the case.’
‘Yes, the timeline’s a problem. It’s not quite sorted.’
‘Bloody hell.  You mean don’t even know what day it is.  Can’t you pass us over to James Patterson or Elmore Leonard - somebody who knows what they’re on about. At least I’d get some sex.’
‘You’d get dead and if you don’t shut up you might have a nasty accident on that nice motorbike I gave you.’
‘You’re just a bully. We should go on strike.’
‘You already have. That’s why I’m stuck and you’ve been no help. I’m going to talk to Lisa, she’s a journalist and might have a few ideas.’
‘You could bring me along. I quite fancy her and like I say I haven’t had…..’
‘Yes, yes. I get the message.  I did have a relationship pencilled in but things are complicated enough as it is.’
‘That’s fine for you but what about me. And anyway, how can you write a good book if you don’t care about your characters.’
‘What do you mean ‘don’t care’ I hardly stop thinking about you.’
‘But it’s not real till it’s on the page – don’t you get it. We don’t know what you haven’t written down. Once it’s there we can build on it, get ourselves lives.’
‘I don’t get that. Either I think it up or it doesn’t happen.’
‘Typical writer – you say you’re not actually God but deep down you think you are. I’m like a reader I get to know what’s in your head when it’s on the page. Then I take that on. Take me, I’m a no nonsense sort of copper, basically honest but a bit cynical about how the world wags and try to stick up for the people life has shafted. But underneath I’m quite sad because my wife was killed by a drunk driver, so there’s a hollow centre to me that I keep hidden. Yes?’
‘Well, yes but there are other things in your past.’
‘But if I don’t know them – like I don’t know where I went to school – then I can’t get into character.’
‘You don’t need to know them – I need to know them.’
‘Yes, but you’ve got to be more like God. In the beginning was the Word – and then He let things run, gave everybody free will and that’s when the stories come.’
‘You’ve lost me.’
‘You want your story to be different. But I’ve been in loads of books.’
‘I wish you had because that would mean I’d got published.’
‘Not with this name – but that person, the no nonsense copper, etc. , he’s been around a bit hasn’t he?’
‘True, but there’s more to you than that.’
‘Do tell.’
‘You had a row with your wife just before she was killed. You hit her and she left in a rage.’
‘Whoa. I hadn’t got that at all. So, if I hadn’t hit her she wouldn’t have left and she wouldn’t be dead?’
‘That’s right. The bruise on her face was just taken as a result of the accident not from your hand.’
‘What did I hit her for? I thought I loved her.’
‘Well, are you ready for this?’
‘Yeah, bring it on. I’m getting more interesting by the minute.’
‘You were fighting because she didn’t like you taking drugs – cocaine.’
‘Police work can be stressful, funny hours, dodgy people.’
‘That doesn’t sound like you.’
‘I’m different now aren’t I? You’ve given me new info.’
‘Would you have acted differently if you knew from the start?’
‘Probably – no, certainly. I’m not the good-hearted copper, honest, supportive. I’m edgier, if I get found out taking drugs I’m finished. I’ve got to be careful – put myself first.’
‘What does that mean?’
‘You’re in charge – think about it. Then write it down.’
‘Write it so it becomes part of you.’
‘You’re getting it at last. I can only help you, become real, if you give me stuff to work with.’
‘You’d be open to blackmail – if someone found out about the drugs.’
‘And they would, wouldn’t they?’
‘So some gang gets to know – maybe turns to blackmail.’
‘Well I deal with these sort all the time. I know what they’re like.’
‘But you’re more use to them inside the force than out so they don’t want to shop you.’
‘I’ve got a nice apartment, a superbike, car – living beyond my means, I’ll have the professional standards people sniffing around won’t I?’
‘Insurance from your wife’s death. Cover for the backhanders you get for a passing on inside information.’
‘OK – that sounds plausible. I can run with that. Of course it changes things between us.’
‘What?’
‘I’m not the jokey, easy going bloke I was a couple of hundred words ago.  I’ve seen characters like this before.’
‘Are we back to Elmore Leonard?’
‘Maybe, they tend not to come to a good end do they?’
‘I haven’t thought about it.’
‘But when you do I can see there could be a nice dramatic scene where I get my comeuppance. Probably die.’
‘I really don’t know. But you got me started down this road.’
‘Me?’
‘Yes. All this ‘what school did I go to?’ business. It set me thinking about you. You’re different now. Things will pan out in ways I can’t predict.’
‘I think I can.’
‘You’re worried I‘ll kill you off?’
‘Not worried, sure. And I like myself too much to let that happen. I’m a new man.’
‘You’ll have to wait and see.’
‘Can’t risk that. I’ve taken plenty of risks, don’t need another one.’
‘What do you mean? Hey, where did you get that gun?’
‘Part of the character. I’m the sort of guy that has a gun. A 9mm automatic if you want to know.’
‘I didn’t give you that.’
‘Course you did. Look at the three lines you’ve just written.’
‘Don’t be silly. Put the gun away.’
‘Sorry, I like being nasty. I’m not going to let you stop me now.’
‘You’re crazy.’
‘Exactly.’
‘Don’t point that thing at me. What are you doing? Put the gun awa….’