I ran to the convenience store yesterday to get a soda to help me through the long afternoon.
I really ought to sit at this particular store with a notebook someday because every time I go I see someone or something interesting that I want to incorporate into a story.
Today was no exception.
I can turn it all into a writing lesson!
I parked my tempermental truck (story for another day) in front of the store. A woman was walking in front of the truck into the store. At first glance, she appeared to be a chic professional.
Fitted black pinstripe jacket.
Cute black sling back pumps.
As she turned to go into the store, I was struck by her hair.
And not in a good way.
It was just past her shoulders and just hung there. Dull, lifeless, BLAHSVILLE.
I don't say this to be mean. Lord knows there's no love lost between ME and MY hair (someone please save me).
But her hair ruined her look.
And I thought to myself
(as I do)
"Wow. One little detail can throw everything else out the window"
I'm in the store now. She's off in the corner getting I don't know or care what. I'm heading to the fountain drinks. I turn my head and there's this OH MY GOD gorgeous man entering the store.
Now I'm as happily married as you can be.
Been married for 17 years, but 'with' him for almost 19.
I'm NOT looking to get myself into any trouble or anything, but if I were a single woman again, this man would be in ALL my fantasies. Helllllllllllloooooooooooooooo sexy!
You know what I'm saying? Short dark hair, big Hershey's Chocolate Bar eyes. Business casual attire.
We're talking YUMMMM-ILICIOUS.
Blondie is in front of me now, paying for her stuff. I grab a pack of gum from the rack behind me...daughter ate my last piece the night before, and you never know when you're going to need a piece of minty refreshment.
I pay for my stuff. Mr Hot Stuff is behind me now.
I'm not on the market, but you know the presence of such "oo-la-la-ness" just makes you want to act cooler.
Like I can make him WISH he were lucky enough to be married to me. HA!
I paid for my stuff, and left. Someone is yelling behind me. I ignore it. I get to my truck and Mr. Gorgeous Himself (yes, He needs to be capitalized at all times) rushes out to hand me my gum.
Our hands touch during the hand off.
I thank him (graciously of course) and get ready to leave.
Turns out he was parked right next to me. A BMW from New Jersey. Well well well. As I'm backing up, he's getting into his car. I'm thinking he's earned himself a spot in my Virtual Harem (ahem, hubby and I both have them, kind of a wish list).
But before I can decide where he ranks among the other boy toys and eye candy, I see he's got a pack of cigarettes in his hand.
Ruined the whole fantasy for me.
Both my parents smoked, half my siblings do. It is in no way a reflection on who you are or the quality of your personage, but I just cannot think about a smoker like *that*. No matter how scrumptious he might be.
(here comes my brilliant segueway)
...even the most perfectly crafted story can come crashing down in a second by a misplaced detail.
And here is a real life writing example...
I read a book earlier this spring. (Okay, I technically read more than one, but I didn't have an issue with most of them)
This one book was REALLY bad with the details.
- A person went to bed wearing one thing and got up in the middle of the night wearing something entirely different.
- The characters' ages and age differences kept fluctuating. We're talking 3-4 years off.
- The characters did things that should have been completely out of character for someone in their position. (There are some things that you can reasonably expect a cop/teacher/priest to do or not do, right?)
- The dialogue was, in most cases, stiff and painful.
The premise of the book was interesting, but there were so many of these glitches that it completely ruined the whole experience for me.
Soooo, tell me. What was the worst mistake you've run across in a book? (you don't have to name the book if you don't want. I'm not out to trash anyone)