Monday, August 10, 2009

First Impression (Why I Wish I Could Write My Life)

By Celinda Barefield

OK, I was originally going to write a follow up to my last article about how to integrate a good writing guide into your work, but in light of recent events, I’m changing my topic. I will do the follow-up at a later date. Instead, I’m going to write about meet-and-greets.

The big challenge here is: How do you get your main characters to meet? This is where setting, motive, and actions come into play. There are many types of meet-and-greets ranging from preplanned stalkerish to randomly weird and everything in between. Maybe one of the characters sets it up. Maybe it’s an act of fate. Sometimes it can be pure coincidence. It is up to the writer to decide. The point is that they eventually do have to meet.

My favorite type of meet-and-greet is the Meet Cute. If you are familiar with old romance comedies, you know what I’m talking about. In a Meet Cute, two people are looking for similar things. For example, a girl and a guy are in the men’s suit center. The girl only needs a jacket, the guy just needs a pair of trousers, but the clerk has to sell the set. They both blurt out their requests at him at the same time and realize that they can solve their problem together. This is a Meet Cute, a random act that leads two people to meet, and in most cases fall in love.

Another type is the Serendipity meeting. After spending a large amount of time almost side by side, two individuals finally encounter each other via a random act of fate, most often years later. An example is a guy and a girl live in the same apartment building but on different floors, they work in the same office building again on different floors, and they frequent the same deli for take-out but at different times. It is not until they are both on vacation in Maui that they run into each other waiting at a taxi stand in the middle of a thunderstorm. They fall in love and realize that they were close for years and never knew it.

As writers, we do not have to write a good first impression. Take Pride and Prejudice for example. Here we have a great meet-and-greet in which the two lovebirds get the totally wrong impression of each other. Mix-ups like this make or break some stories. So choose your first words with care. The thing to remember is until it’s published you can always write a new first impression unlike in real life when you’re stuck with the ones you make.

5 comments:

Laura Valtorta said...

Yes, I've seen the movie Holiday starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet. One of my favorite movies. They talk about "meet cute,"

Anonymous said...

Kool write,
missed you at the writers group,
I got your write critiqued,
there is a science or a method to writing,
people who are not writers think that you just sit down at a typewriter and write a final first time draft of your book and mail it off and it winds up on the best seller lists,
I forgot my password,
gwnewport2@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Why I wish I could write my life,
I am writing my life,
I wish that I could change it and history would change too,
A writer can level the Rocky Mountains or divert the Mississippi where it flows into the sea or make the sun rise in the West,
but we cannot alter time,
we cannot change the past,
sometimes we even have a hard time getting the present to come out the way that we want it to,
and the future?
forget it,
Sister Jannis Joplin,
the great philosopher,
once said,
yesterday is gone tomorrow never gets here all we got is today man,
I hope I can get my book finished and Steven Spielburg makes a really good movie out of it,
there is no money in selling books,
if you get the time give me a call at 803-647-9445,
I still can not figure out my password

Anonymous said...

I forgot to put my name on my last post,
I can not remember my password so I can not use my log in to sign my comment,
I been working up the courage to ask you if you are in a relationship,
if not,
I would like to spend eternity with you,
G
803-647-9445
803-420-7896
gwnewport2@yahoo.com
1540 Leesburg Road

Anonymous said...

I hate being listed as Anonamoose,
but I can not get my password to sign in, I really enjoyed our talk on world religions after the writers group the other day, I called information and your telephone number is not listed and I do not have your e mail address, I would like to see if we can build a long term permanent relationship, if you are interested, or not interested, please call me or send me an e mail or a postcard, and let me know what you think or want or do not want, thanks
G