Saturday, August 24, 2013

What do Republicans look like?


The Eight Sentences:

Ridge continued, “Of course it’s a depression -- caused by the Republicans -- they're ruining the country. If I see one in a crosswalk, I’ll run him over.”
Franklin York, still on the lookout for opportunities to stir up trouble asked, “How do you recognize them, George? What do Republicans look like?”
Ridge sneered in silent reply. 
York asked, “What does that look mean?”
Fishinghawk, ever the linguist, answered, “He’s flipping you off with his eyes.”
Reverend Tommy Pritchett smiled and asked, “Yeah, George. Do Republicans look anything like Methodists?”

The Setup
The members of  The Presidents Club enjoy teasing each other. They can dish it out ruthlessly and they can take it, too. 
They're a nice fit for each other and constantly on guard for a slip of the tongue they can exploit. 
They often surprise me with their smart ass remarks and clever rejoinders. 

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  1. Chip, your characters never fail to amuse and amaze! I love their comfortable repartee with one another.
    And, as a Methodist, do we already look Republican? :)
    Blessings, my friend!

    1. Thanks, Martha.
      They often surprise me, too.
      This scene is based on a real life incident. I heard a man make such a bold proclamation and it made me wonder...
      How can you tell just by looking what a person's beliefs are? (Obviously, you can't.)
      Even names can be deceiving. I've got a loyal protestant friend named Bernie Goldberg.

  2. Hi, Chip! You have lots of wit and humor in your writing. I DEFINITELY love a fast-pace!

    I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't come clean and admit that I felt lost, having to keep track of so many names/characters in 8 short sentences.

    I absolutely understand that it's tough managing a room full of chars, each of whom has dialogue (I was working on that issue in my own novel today.)

    2 tricks that work for me:

    A) Limit the speakers and the name mentions to 3

    B) Avoid "cross quips." Let Char A & B go at it for several paragraphs before Char B chimes in. Then let Char B and C go at it for a few more paragraphs, before letting some other Char speak. Handling dialogue this way gives the reader a "mental break" during fast-paced dialogue that has multiple conversations / characters.

    Hope that suggestion helped (rather than confused) you. If not, feel free to email me privately. I'm leaving my website address below, so you can find my contact page.

    Looking forward to reading the next installment!


    Adrienne deWolfe

    1. Four speakers in eight sentences is a challenge, for both writer and reader.
      I suppose the need for "creative punctuation" -- getting the entire snippet to fit into 8 sentences might have been a factor in the confusion.
      I'm pleased that you liked it.
      I'll go back and look at that scene again before publication.
      Meanwhile, you might enjoy the entire scene, in context, without the creative punctuation.
      You can find it here:

  3. Don't you just love it when your characters surprise you with smart ass remarks? This cast of characters sounds incorrigible. I enjoyed the snippet.

  4. This exchange reminds me of the time a man yelled at me in a parking lot about being a liberal [censored]. I mean, a full on, election year-fueled rant.

    When he paused for breath, I said, "Sir, LIB stands for library---that's my parking permit for work."

    His wife smacked him arm, gave him a Look of Mortified Death, and said, "Now I'm gonna have to change parties because you're such a [censored] idiot!"

  5. Fun exchange. Loved the line, "He's flipping you off with his eyes." I've seen that look a few times. Probably given it a few times, too. :-)

  6. Chip--

    I love this line!!

    "Fishinghawk, ever the linguist, answered, “He’s flipping you off with his eyes.”

    In my house, we call it "the stink eye." ;)

  7. Made me giggle. Flipping someone off with your eyes...snort : )

  8. I love this banter. The question remains; what do Republicans look like? Do they all drive a Ford? Are they all middle aged or older with huge fortunes? What a trap for the stereotype :).

  9. Oh, I've missed these guys! You *know* you're good friends when you can talk politics and still have a good laugh. Love it!

  10. Strongly held opinions and guys who know how to banter with each other...excellent excerpt!

  11. You are so funny Frank! I love the individualism of your characters and their banter. Excellent snippet.

    History Sleuth's Milk Carton Murders

  12. That was hilarious! But who knows what they actually look like. lol

  13. I* loved the banter and the back and forth -- that's how people talk in a group, not just two people talking and then two more. Well done!

    It is hard to juggle a lot of characters in a snippet -- I often struggle with it, too. Part (most?) of the problem is that the readers are coming in in the middle of the scene -- they don't know the characters yet so they are all just a bunch of talking heads to them.