Monday, March 31, 2014

I didn't ejaculate, 'good afternoon.'

There was a woman walking her dogs by the river today. A very loud woman. I heard her rather than saw her at first. And she sounded like the sort of woman who would start a conversation with a dog-walker.

Now when I'm out with George that's it. I don't mind exchanging pleasantries but conversation with strangers is a no no. I like to retire into my own world where the only people I speak to are George and me. I'm not that fast a walker but obviously faster than she was and I was soon catching up with her and it got to the point where I had to make that decision. The 'do I speed up and stride past with an afternoon nod' or 'do I slow down to give her time to get away from me'?

Dog walkers are notoriously bad at doing what you hope they will do so I usually opt for the speeding up option although then it becomes less of an afternoon nod and more of an afternoon gasp as I pass.

It was particularly crucial this afternoon as I was working on the plot of novel 4. As I mentioned on Facebook it is so convoluted you could remove a cork from a wine bottle with it. Ah yes, a question: can mobile phones be traced just because they exist? Even if they're switched off? A question for the writer's friend, Google, methinks.

I'm good (I think) at writing dialogue but less good at description. I don't mean pretty sunsety type description but description of the action, telling the reader what is happening. (I know show don't tell is the rule but you have to tell to a certain extent in order to show.) When I do include it it sounds a bit flat.

I've looked at other novels I've enjoyed, ones of which I like the style, and action is usually written in those in a similar way. Basic he did this, she did that sort of stuff. Maybe it's like 'said'. Again one of the oft quoted rules is not to use a lot of fancy verbs when said would do. For example, "'That's amazing,' she ejaculated." It can detract from the story and is unnecessary. Normally if a word is repeated a lot the reader will pick up on it and possibly start to get annoyed but 'said' becomes almost invisible. So perhaps when describing action it works the same way: simple is best. At least in my sort of writing. I'm not fancy.

Or maybe I should write a screenplay.


katney said...

So the question is, did you speed up and pass her, or did you slow down and let her go?

Liz Hinds said...

Speeded up!

Furtheron said...

I'm sure you can't trace a switched off mobile phone - if it is on then yes but off no. But in the movies they remove the battery so maybe there is some little connection going on... call up GCHQ and ask them, they are bound to be willing to answer you ;-)

Furtheron said...


Liz Hinds said...

Good idea, furtheron. But would GCHQ tell me the truth?
And in films they always throw their phones in 'dumpsters'.

Leslie: said...

I look forward to seeing other dogs and their walkers so Tegan can play a bit and get more tired. That way, when I get home, I get peace for a while. But then, I'm a naturally chatty person and it's good to know someone else is around in case the coyote shows up!