workshop ’09: where?

We were away longer than I thought we would be, but here’s the next chapter in the workshop.

But first, let me say that I’ve been liking all the bits and pieces that you’ve been posting. Some of you have a knack for dialog, others are most comfortable with characterization or narrative. When I’m done with this, I’m going to write a couple posts about what I see in the contributions, and some craft issues to consider.

So for now. You’ve got your two arguing characters. Now jump forward in time, pass the crisis point and over the edge to where one or both of them are sitting in a holding cell, waiting to be arraigned on charges of public nuisance and disturbing the peace.

One of your characters has to explain to the judge how he or she ended up in jail, in a short narrative or monolog. Not more than a page.  Think hard before you start. It might be more interesting to have your character plead guilty, and explain why, than to claim innocence. It could be that your character didn’t get into a fight with your second character, but with the police officer who got involved in the original conversation.

In any case, it will go best if your character has managed to regain some calm and perspective. This doesn’t mean the monolog has to be dry or detached, but it does mean that he or she is aware that it would be best to keep the drama low. Outrage would be harder to pull off than offended dignity. Icy anger would be better than a tantrum.

And remember, in this case especially, your character is going to be unreliable in narration, and the judge is very aware of that fact. But we don’t want to hear from the Judge, okay? Just your character.

So here you go.

the end result

the end result