clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Letter from a Dead Character

There's nothing like a good death to bring out insecurity and - it's :
Find the whole crew of talented but insecure writers here.
So on today's installment, we have a letter to you writers from Arthur. The poor bastard doesn't even have a last name because you killed him off so quickly. I'll let him speak for himself.

Dear Writer,
I trust my words find you still unpublished and insecure. You've earned it. 

Here I lay for all eternity notated within your incomplete manuscript as "Arthur." My claim to fame? I "lay face down in a pool of his own blood."

I'm just an object to you. I am a meddlesome body of little consideration. I'm a reason to call the coppers. No use denying it. 

You started a story with a body on the rug and proceeded with the interviews, the coy jokes to my widow or mistress, the ever digesting coroner making unremembered notation about ".38 - sure of it. Close range, too. This guy got it bad."

I'm the first body and I've got something to say.

Give me a story. Please. Give me a reason for the reader to care. The whipped dialogue and snappy atmosphere of the guy in the dinner jacket or the cowboy in boots or whoever your detective might be doesn't do justice to the fact that I am an important character. The reader needs to feel empathy for me (and "he got it bad" isn't enough).

Give me a little more than $32, a lighter, and a pen knife in my pocket. Please.  Let me have a picture of saint, a fresh rabbit's foot, a fat guy's thumb. Something. Anything - to break the monotony. 

Let me be dead of snakebite before someone put a couple slugs in me ("Didn't bleed out much for a guy shot while alive < bite of ham sandwich here>. I'd say he was dead a good hour before he was placed here and plugged.")

Let me be a jazzman with a trumpet mouthpiece in one pocket and five .45 shells in the other. 

Give me a chance. Let me dance even though I'm dead. Please. No one wants an opening with another cadaver who's as interesting as the leggy blond dame's hat. Who the hell notices that? Let me be a person, too. Let me spill some emotion on the page.

I'll give you this. If you don't agree that some emotion should be wrung from my body, put a dead labrador in my place and see how it reads. Pulls at you - doesn't it? Who'd shoot a dog?  

Put of little of that in there for me. 

<signed> 
Arthur. (Page one, para 1, second sentence)



1 comment:

Misha Gericke said...

Well, you gotta admit, Arthur has a good point. ;-)