Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I made it up

"The worst part is the entire time he was telling me he was sick and needed to cancel our date I could hear people laughing in the background! He was obviously out at a bar and was bailing on me up so he could stay there!" Kat could barely contain herself as she regaled Sandra with the previous evening's bad date story.

"Wait, are we mad that he lied to you or mad that he was a lousy liar?"

Kat and Sandra looked at James as though remembering he was there for the first time, "Both obviously!" Kat said as though speaking to a slow child.

Sandra patted her husband's knee and explained, "The lie is bad enough. The fact that he didn't even try to hide that he was lying is worse. It means that he didn't care if he got caught."

"But wouldn't it be worse if he was a good liar and you would still be thinking he was a good guy to date? This way you know right away that he isn't someone to waste time with?"

"That's not the point! The point is that he didn't even care enough about me to lie well!"

"I still don't get it." James shook his head slowly looking from his wife to her best friend. Aliens, he was sure they were aliens, it was the only real explanation he had.

"It's okay, honey, it's complicated, you don't have to get it." Sandra loved her husband and loved her life. Simple, straightforward, drama free. Well except for Kat, there was always plenty of drama around Kat.

There you go. This bit of dialog popped into my head yesterday while I was cleaning the shower. It fits in with a series of short stories I have been working on for awhile. I have small bites of each of them on file. Pieces that fall into my brain that I just KNOW are somehow going to form a cohesive story at some point in time. The thinking right now is that it will revolve around 5 or 6 main characters and how they come in and out of each other's lives. Each chapter will be a complete story but they will be grouped in a book that by the end you will see how they are all tied together.

Obviously, that piece up there is still rough. I have been playing around with character names, I like Kat, she could be Kathy, Katherine, Kate and Kat all through different stages of her life. Sandra has been Connie, Sandra, Dianne and few other names, I can't settle on who she is yet. Her husband is James. Solid name also one that can be shortened or lengthened depending on where he is in the story. But that could change as well.

Kat seems to be the character that I have the most random pieces for. She is pretty fully formed. At least right now. And her best friend, the ever solid Sandra (Connie? Dianne?). I think those two will be the main thread through all the stories. Even the ones they aren't featured in there will be something there tying them back. I think. Maybe.

That's the part of making it up. I keep hearing these voices in my head. I know they are trying to tell me a story. And I listen, and I write down what I remember, and I work them over and over until they make sense. Or at least make sense to me. Or I write them down, work them over and then throw them away because what seems like a clever idea at 2 AM is often not so clever at 10 AM. Or the basic thread of the thought is still there but everything around it has been reworked so many times it's barely recognizable.

Anyway...I thought I would share that piece with you. When I finally get all of the voices to finish telling me their stories and I write that book you can read it and see if that exchange made the final cut. Or if you can recognize the piece that it ended up becoming.

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