November 6th, 2011

queer as a three dollar bill

Oh, characters. (Plotting conundrum inside.)

My writing style is rather strongly character-driven, and the process often winds up going:

1: Emotional arcs and starting situations known coming in.
2: Dialogue
3/4: Stage Directions & Blocking
5: Embroidery

I am temporarily held up by a piece of dialogue.

One of my characters has behaved like an utter tool, but in a distinctly different way than someone else's mental model of his usual form of toolish behavior. This is in no small part due to different sets of information held by each character going in. This expectation bubble is about to collapse in a suitably dramatic fashion. Once I know how it collapses, I will know the outgoing arcs and I'll be able to build the rest of the scene, but the pin of the scene around which I have to build the dialogue is that clash of the actual and the incorrectly expected.

Unfortunately I know too much about the scenario from all directions to accurately model the steps that led to the incorrect (but deeply amusing to me as the reader) guess. (A number of the Usual Suspects also know more information about the scenario than any of the given participants know, which in this case is not necessarily helpful.)

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