Today's Subtitle: "Help! My characters sound like actors in a 1930s screwball comedy!"
This week I seemed to be channeling my inner Howard Hawks*. Every bit of dialogue I wrote somehow morphed into words that would have felt at home in any screwball or British drawing room comedy of a certain era. I kept expecting my characters to break out with jolly good or pip-pip at any moment. Okay, so maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but really, what do you do with a character who insists on saying things like, "Say, I’m being an absolute dunce."??
The saddest part? I wish I could say I was writing the kind of witty repartee you'd find in those old movies. Unfortunately, my version is more the kind of stuff you wince at. Ouch.
Still, there's something about letting a character talk and say what they want that reveals certain things about them. For instance, I had no idea that my heroine was a master thief who only steals high end, high profile and very expensive objects at great risk. Not until, that is, she started talking to one of her rich "clients" at a party and her inner thoughts betrayed her. What started out as an easy way to have her introduced to the hero turned into a revelation that had me scrambling to rewrite my earlier scenes. Like tipping a line of dominoes, other things started to fall into place.
Now if I can only get them to stop sounding like they need to be walking their wire-haired terrier on the deck of the Queen Mary as they cross the Atlantic... Asta! Heel!
So, while my word count hasn't really budged, I'm satisfied with the progress I've made this week. How about you? Did things go your way this week or did you encounter any unexpected roadblocks? Fred and Ginger and Nick and Nora and I would all love to know!
* his early comedies