Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Some Enchanted Evening


Or morning. Or afternoon.

Have you ever wakened out of a relatively sound sleep to find your anxious mind has been cud-chewing your plot structure trying to ascertain if some portion of said structure has made it over the believability bar?
This may be typical. Or not.
I mean that choking on a hair ball is quite normal for cats, regurgitation is a method of digestion for some animals, and we all know how some species feed their young; thus such anxiety may be natural and is not some subconscious suggestion you've come a cropper.
Or maybe, some internal sense of fitness down there in the third stomach is rumbling uneasily "this sucks."
Then you have to decide, after a conscientious run through examples from other stories, if it's just gas.
So, how do your hero and heroine meet?
Accidentally? Like, he prangs her car in the supermarket parking lot? Out of the blue.
Naturally? As they are both in the same business, live in the same town/apartment building? Proxmitity factor.
Inevitably? Such as she's a cop and he's a crook? Are heirs to the same estate? Are after the same felon, treasure? Logically possible.
Extraordinarily? The curse, the fates, the mills of the gods and godmothers? It was Meant To Be.
How do your hero and heroine meet?

Should have sent this to Bonnie, for Ric, but I sight in my own guns.

The Spanish Computer
A teacher of Spanish explained to her class that in Spanish, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.
A student asked, "What gender is 'computer'?"
Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into male and female groups and asked them to decide for themselves whether "computer" should be a masculine or feminine noun.
Each group was required to produce four reasons for its recommendation.
The men's group decided that "computer" should definitely be of the feminine gender - "la computadora" - because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.
2. The language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else,
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval, and
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine, "el computador," because:
1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on.
2. They have a lot of data but they can't think for themselves.
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time, they ARE the problem, and,
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.

16 comments:

Dennie McDonald said...

Have you ever wakened to find your anxious mind cud-chewing plot structure ... often. And more times then not it was something I couldn't quite get a handle on!

Ric said...

BLogger is being contentious this morning.
Feminine - by all means - you do everything they request and they still do whatever they want to do anyway...

Meeting of the principles depends highly on the genre, I think. Cops meet investigating something. Romance is usually because one is looking..

just a thought

kmfrontain said...

I've awakened with entire plots that came from a dream, no less, but so far have only ever incorporated my nightmares into storylines. The silly thing about the entire dream plots is they never seem as good as what I end up with after just throwing something up on the screen.

After writing so very much these last few years, my main concern isn't for stories now, but stories back then, when I first began. I'm still worried about those ones. And it's whilst in the shower that I usually see a flaw to current writing, and usually it's a flaw of logic, as in: how did that horse get there without making any noise to alert the blind man? Things like that. Those pop out at me suddenly, in the shower, as I said, sometimes just before I go to sleep. And then I can't sleep. ;-)

The computer joke was so apt. Coming from a French background/province, it's amusing when you try to think why a gender was assigned a certain type of noun.

How do my heroes and heroines meet? Um, mostly it's been heroes meeting heroes lately, and usually there's something personally unpleasant going on when they arrive at the same point in the story. Fantasy makes it very easy to introduce fellas with a lot of bang to the moment, don't it? Makes for lazy writing. The scenarios are almost too easy. I can't recall having anyone meet anyone in a typical way recently. ::wry grin::

And thanks for the link, Bernita! :D

Bernita said...

You too, Dennie?

You're right as far as "computadora" is concerned, Ric, but then alternates like "calculador" and "ordenador" are masculine.

Ah, lack of subservience is a problem sometimes...

Does genre really determine a convention for the hero/heroine meet?

Bernita said...

The mind is a funny thing, KM. Have awakened with both questions and solutions.
When I've had a suitable dream I can never seem to remember the crucial turning point/logic when I come to, unfortunately.

Sela Carsen said...

I never remember my dreams, although I wish I did. The idea of directed dreaming sounds so useful!

My characters often meet by accident, occasionally by commonality of purpose.

Bernita said...

It's possible to a degree, Sela, but it takes practise.
In real life, a lot of couples meet either by accident or because they belong to the same group/similar interests, or introduced by a friend.

Anonymous said...

Blogger's being a man again...what a ppop head...LOL...it's going to make me anonymous1

"el computador...#4...LOL

Actually ROFLMAO....if I'd only known then what I know now...LOL

That was great Bernita...you go girlfriend!

Oh...the topic today...at some point you have to have cofidence in yourself and what your capable of. Even seasoned authors continue to study and learn at their craft. So I'd say, the more we learn the better our writing gets.

If we can't believe in ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to? :-)

--Bonnie Calhoun

Erik Ivan James said...

I have no set pattern of circumstances by which my characters meet. It just happens, as I develop the story.

Computers. I don't get along very well with them regardless of their gender. I don't think of them as he/she; just as "pain in the ass".

Robyn said...

Long post, but you might appreciate it. Oh, and my characters meet in any number of different ways. Depends on the story.

Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated, "If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon".
In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating: If GM had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:
1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.
2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.
3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.
4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.
5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.
6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation" warning light.
7. The airbag system would ask "Are you sure?" before deploying.
8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.
9. Every time a new car was introduced car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.
10. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

Bernita said...

Eh, Bonnie, so true.
And we learn by re-examining what we've done.

I always feel BETRAYED when mine acts up,Erik, followed by mea culpa.

~choking~
On #7 particularly!
Don't you just love it?
Thank you, Robyn!

Gabriele C. said...

German computers are male.

As to waking up chewing plot points - for me, it's rather: oh flying pigmy poop, that will never work in the context, X happened 5 years later than I need it to.

Bernita said...

"flying pigmy poop"
!!!
Gabriele, I love you.

Yes, that too, though that usually happens when I'm awake and sober.

H.S. Kinn said...

I get bunnies or scenes in my dreams, quite frequently, actually.

For The Trees said...

I awaken many times in the dead of night - usually 2:30 a.m. - then sit down and start writing. Sometimes I write story, sometimes I write blog post, sometimes I go off on tangents. But it's then that I have my most intense bursts of creativity.

I don't usually remember my dreams, just that I had them. There'll be a feeling left over, although what, I can't say, and I'll know I had a dream. And yes, I've started writing based on those feelings.

But when I get something to do on my story is when I'm sitting here typing away and it just comes. Bang. And I've gotta get it into pixels before it goes away.

In one story I have the H/H meet at a wedding reception; in another they meet in a park in Tucson; in another she's waiting for him when he gets off the bus coming back from World War II...I have this thing about making the meeting believable. I think that helps the reader identify better.

Then there's the story where he finally gets up his nerve and asks this gorgeous girl out for coffee one Saturday morning, and they meet at a cafe. She comes right out and asks him why he wanted to talk, and when he hems and haws around trying to say he wanted to get to know her better, she says "I'm a lesbian. So I brought my sister. She wants to meet a good man." And signals the sister, waiting in the wings, then leaves them to it. When I got THAT one as I was writing it, I damn near couldn't get it down, I was laughing so hard. but then, stranger things have happened to people.

The computer joke is really funny. Thanks for it!

Bernita said...

The mind is a busy place, HS, but yours does double time!

I've been known to leap from bed, ricochet off the hall walls, and light up the screen in the middle of the night too, Forrest,sometimes to just add or repair a sentence.
Based on those salutary proverbs such as Iron: hot strike, Use or Lose.
And that is a neat meeting twist.