clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Old Friends

Image at left from Rodrigo Paredes of Argentina and hosted on wikicommons.

I encountered a group of old friends today and was struck at how easily we took up conversations suspended for years. Helps that they're my countrymen and in our part of the world, this is how things go.

We'll probably end up in the same hermit colony.

It occurred to me that introductions and new interactions are frequently the stuff of commercial fiction.

When was the last scene you remember coming across where the characters had a great deal more history and context behind the encounter than the reader knows? How was it handled?

I recall a business encounter with a close friend also in the business ... she kissed me on the cheek. My subordinates were shocked. I was a little shocked, too. That doesn't happen much in my world.

Would make a great scene, though.

Unexpected familiarity makes a great bit of drama on the page both for the reader and for the other characters in the scene. Yes, we have to provide context; but, we don't have to tell the reader everything.

Old friends make a great encounter I haven't used enough.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Good thoughts here. I think both old friends and first meetings can really help with backstory (especially in dialogue). Helps the info trickle in and also helps hint at difficult or tragic backstory that can be uncovered later.

Older generation kisses a good deal in the south, but never a colleague, ha. This was someone from the States? It would make a good scene, for sure!

jack welling said...

I'm fighting it at every turn: what I know, what the reader knows, what the character knows.

Almost like keeping lies straight.

I so want to tell the detective character there's a gun in the blonde's purse but I have to wait .... have to wait.