A chance moment

I blabber on about writing a lot. Probably because I can. There are moments in life when separate things slip together and all of a sudden bam! It all makes sense. The sudden realization of something either right before your eyes or close to it.

I like to lead a character up to the moment when they finally look up, wide-eyed and  realize something important. If I’m writing a scene but don’t know how to bridge the events properly I’ll use a chance moment. Something random but not unbelievable.

The options for purposefully random chance moments are infinite. Since they are random, you can choose anything or anyone to make it happen. Even a character never before used. So long as it all fits the story and is not truly random and unbelievable.

“Scott you look terrible.” Valery stopped him in the hall outside the lunchroom.
“Couldn’t sleep.” He ran his hands through his dark hair. 
“Do you need time-” Valery stopped abruptly when he looked her in the eyes.
“Sasha’s in trouble isn’t she?” He rubbed his face after her minute nod.
Valery leaned closer lowering her voice. “She was in protective custody.”
“Was?”
“I only found out most of this yesterday. She was told to keep it from us for her safety. Did she tell you about that guy attacking her?”
Scott nodded. “A little.”
Valery tapped away on her smart phone and held it up to him. “When this came out in the news last week I…” She swallowed hard as Scott stared at the image of Baylor Crowen.
“Shit, that’s the guy? The mangler attacked her?”
“Yes. They only got his picture because Sasha got him arrested. Apparently he tried again.”
Scott took her phone for a closer look. “That’s when she went on vacation?”
“Yes. The detective said.” Valery swallowed hard, her voice cracking from strain. “He found her while under protection.”
Scott’s mouth fell open, but he couldn’t speak.
“Something happened, the cops wont say what and I have no idea what’s going on.”
“He looks familiar.” Scott squinted at the screen.
“Well he’s been headline news twice since last week.”
“I know.” He tapped his chin. “But…” He saw Jenny approaching with her overly bubbly gait. She was Clifton’s unofficial assistant. The gossip about the two of them isn’t kind.
“I actually met him at the bar the night he attacked Sasha. I thought he was hot.” Valery shivered at the memory. 
“Who’s hot?” Jenny grinned and peeked a the phone. “That’s the weird HR guy.”
Valery and Scott looked at each other alarmed.
“HR?” Valery queried.
“Uh huh.” Jenny sat. “He comes in every few weeks to see Clifton.” She scrunched her face. “He’s sorta hot, but prefers brunettes. Too bad.” She twirled a lock of her dark blonde hair around her index. “It’s funny for HR, he’s never talked to anyone. Just oggles Alice, yells at Clifton and leaves.”
“He’s been here?” Valery glanced at Scott. If she had seen him, she’d remember.
“Sure has. Not lately though. So whats up with him?”
“Oh.” Valery licked her lips and grabbed her phone from Scott. “He’s not on our payroll anymore. Since Clifton’s away would you let me know if he comes by again? He left some things here.”
“Sure thing Valery.” Jenny held up a thumb drive. “Amber needs this. Later.”
Valery was already dialing the number detective Thorn gave her as she dragged Scott toward her office.

Since Valery and Scott are minor support characters I didn’t want them to figure too much out on their own. So in Comes Jenny to slip in the missing piece of the puzzle.  The only hitch to having someone provide random information is it needs to be believable. I’ve mentioned a mysterious HR guy before so I could work it in this way. It’s also a bit more exciting than a narrative or dual dialogue of Scott and Valery “working it out”.

My advice about a chance moment.
I love them if I’m stuck with a way to get to a point in an interesting or exciting way. Give it a try, and see what happens.

-Sheryl

An old post or two

Building chemistry

What exactly did cupid do?

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved
Infinite

Advertisements

Something stinks!

The human body is a complicated contraption. Writing about it can be just as complicated… or not. I find people tend to avoid the bits and pieces that make us uncomfortable in real life. But why? I don’t always think of it at the time, but when I’m revising/rewriting scenes I try to remind myself to make people more human, more relatable and therefore interesting.

There are some things our bodies do that may or may not be received well by anyone.  One in particular can be raunchy and unpleasant. I’m talking specifically about tooting, farting or flatulence. Whatever you want to call it or refer to it as. The expelled stinky gasses from the body are a common occurrence and everyone knows it.

Flatulence is necessary to the wellbeing of the body. It can be involuntary or manipulated to be voluntary.

There are cultural rules/taboos, social rules/taboos and even personal rules/taboos regarding letting one out of the gates.

Breaking wind can provide plenty of opportunity and fodder for storytelling. From the accidental squeaker to the purposefully silent and deadly, flatulence can and will always be a source for reaction/conversation/embarrassment. I’m not ever going to write this in every scene or even more than once maybe twice if it’s funny for character/relationship development or story advancement (Kudos to anyone that can make a fart plot development without being utterly silly).

I know this can easily fall under the ‘poo-poo humor’ category but if you think about it as I have, it happens in real life and the after effects can be dramatic.

Reasons for involuntary flatulence
Diet – long term and short term

Illness
Age – yes I went there, either the very young or very old don’t care, lack control it or don’t feel it.
Exercise 
Stress
Nervousness
Held in too long due to circumstance

Reasons for voluntary or forced flatulence
Being silly/joking around

Being gross
Being rude
Wanting to clear out an area
Wanting to annoy/gross out someone
Need to get it out before a big/long meeting 
Relief 

Now if I’m going to go to all this trouble to talk about why’s and how’s I suppose I should list a few types.

Types of flatulence
Trumpeter
– loud and proud

Squeaker – the pffft with a small itty-bitty noise
Silent and stealthy – nobody knows and nobody smells
Silent but deadly – I don’t think there is a human alive that hasn’t had this one happen to or around them
The forever – loud or not it is like a deflating balloon
The Popper – one or many, its little pop’s
The snap – uh… it sounds like a snap
The What?  The one that sounds like someone asking “What?”
The gust – sounds like the butt is just blowing air 
The what-the-hell-did-you-eat?  – Self explanatory
Sickly – When you know someone’s just not feeling up to snuff
Shart – when a little poo sneaks out with it. Yeah this is as gross as it sounds for everyone involved.

I’m sure there are more and other names for them, but I’ll move on. So how does one make this part of a story? Good question.

Dale and Amber snickered and whispered behind their hands.
“Go.” Amber nudged Dale off her desk. He sauntered over to Rachel’s desk. She frowned at Dale.
“Morning Rachel.”
“Oh good morning Dale. How are you?” She forced a smile and glanced down the isle of cubicles. Right on cue, Sharon was making her way toward her cubicle.
“Same as always.” He paused, the soft sound of air escaping his rear made her fist tighten on the scissors. 
“Must you? Every dammed time?” Rachel set the scissors down before they wound up in Dales offending cheek.
“Just a bit of payback for snitching to Sasha.”
“It was months ago and an accident you ass.”
He laughed as he walked away. Moments later Rachel’s crush stopped at her desk. 
“Good morning Rachel.” Sharon wrinkled her nose. “Are you feeling okay today?”
A cursory glance at Dale and Amber reminded her of her place. “Um sorry, I…” 
“I hope you feel better.” Sharon moved on quickly casting a giggling Amber and a tittering Dale a narrow eyed glance.

 Valery bit her bottom lip regretting the taco lunch with Anne earlier. Her gurgling stomach made her cringe as Jackson opened his door. He threw his arms around her and hugged tightly. Valery’s eyes flew open as she passed gas loudly.
“Oh my god.” She pushed away and covered her flushing face.
He laughed and pulled her hands away. “Now that you’ve popped the fart cherry and set the bar so high, I get a free pass or two when I rip one out.” He pulled her inside and closed the door.
Valery’s mouth fell open then she laughed. “Jackson you are one digit hotter for being so cool about that.”
He took her jacket and shrugged. “Meh, you’re one digit hotter for being so dammed cute and embarrassed about it.”

Flatulence doesn’t have to be immature poo-poo humor. Sometimes when a person is too perfect or seems to well put together like Valery a little embarrassment can go a long way to making her feel more human to the reader.

My advice about cutting the cheese.
I wouldn’t say to overdo it, but if you need something to break the ice or lessen the tension or even create some, there is nothing better than a little stink cloud to change things up.

-Sheryl

Other posts worth a toot

Did you smell that?

Eating emotions

Setting the mood

Copyright © 2016 All rights reserved
Or
Control