Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Talking to Oneself
You remember that classic scene out of ROMANCING THE STONE, don't you? The opening scene where it's a race between Joan Wilder's wrap up of her manuscript and her supply of tissues?
To refresh your memory:
Grogan: What's it gonna be, Angelina?
Joan Wilder: [voiceover] It was Grogan: the filthiest, dirtiest, dumbest excuse for a man west of the Missouri River.
Grogan: You can die two ways: quick like the tongue of a snake, or slower than the molasses in January.
Joan Wilder: [voiceover] But it was October.
Grogan: I'll kill you, bleep, if it's the Fourth of July! Where is it? Uhh. Get over there!
Joan Wilder: [voiceover] I told him to get out, now that he had what he came for.
Grogan: Not quite.
Grogan: Take 'em off. Do it! Come on!
[Angelina kills Grogan by throwing a concealed knife]
Joan Wilder: [voiceover] That was the end of Grogan... the man who killed my father, raped and murdered my sister, burned my ranch, shot my dog, and stole my Bible!
I admit it, there are worse fates than to be yanked into a Columbian treasure hunt with Michael Douglas ... as long as it ends Happily Ever After.
But the only things I have in common with the fictional Joan Wilder are that I am a writer, and that, er, I talk to myself as I'm writing.
It is a sort of new realization. One recent Saturday, The Kiddo was putting on some sort of Barbie Fashion Show in her room while I was working on my current MS in my room.
I was all snugged up with my laptop, and finally the story was beginning to flow. The explanation for this sudden "click" didn't dawn on me. I didn't care WHY my characters were finally talking again; I was just glad of it!
And then The Kiddo popped her head around the door jam. "Mommy?"
"Hmh?" Still engrossed, hadn't really looked up, DETERMINED to finish the thought before it escaped.
"Were you talking on the phone?"
"Nu-uh," I muttered. A few more keystrokes, and I'd finish this elusive paragraph.
"Well, who were you talking to, then?"
Paragraph screeched to a halt. I looked up. "I wasn't talking."
She raised her eyebrow and gave me a squint-eye she could have only learned from her mother. "Yes, you WERE."
And then it hit me. The reason my characters were talking was that, ahem, I was talking for them.