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One of the best things about writing is that you get to put words in other people's mouths. We can make our characters say daft, funny lines, or have them tear at our heartstrings with moving expressions of love, fear, anger or regret. In a weird way, the characters we invent become a bit like our children. They're a part of us, but different.

It's hard to choose, but of all the characters I've created, Mr. Tinkles, the daunting, but terribly polite, gorilla in Fur-Face, will always have a place on my list of favorites.

When I wrote his dialogue, I tried to imagine them spoken by British actor, Terry Thomas, who so often played a cad in movies from the 50s and 60s (he also voiced, Sir Hiss, in Disney's Robin Hood (1973)).


I liked the idea of a giant, 500lb gorilla having a suave voice and impeccable manners, even in the face of mortal danger.

Here's what he yells at cruel billionaire, Benedict Barnum, after learning he's about to fight to the death for the amusement of his human captors:
"Your hair needs a trim, human, and I certainly wouldn't wear those shoes with that color tie if I were you!"

Not exactly colorful language, but somehow, I couldn't imagine him saying anything worse. Besides, sometimes, the unexpected can have more impact, don't you think?

How about you?

Care to share a quote from one of your characters?
If it's from a book or story available online, feel free to include a link.


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( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 4th, 2012 02:13 pm (UTC)
The characters in my Steampunk novel Brass & Breath live on an airship together. When they have taken a prisoner, the following dialogue unfolds between the captain and the first mate:
Captain Terra: "Is our guest comfortable?"
First Mate Krane: "He's not going anywhere soon. I'm sure you'll want to make him less comfortable later."
Jan. 4th, 2012 02:16 pm (UTC)
Sounds ominous.

Thanks for sharing, Ellen :)
Jan. 4th, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC)
I've heard that it's rude to quote one's own work,
and post links to it,
but in this case,
it would be rude not to...
Like a buffet made entirely of Spam...

"Men who know about my sex change always tell me I'm the prettiest girl they've ever met, as if they'd assumed I wouldn't be, or thought I needed the reassurance."

-Clara Roberts

"The Bohemisn Girl"
from The Bohemian Girl and Other Stories
Jan. 4th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
It's only rude when you do it without being invited :P
Jan. 4th, 2012 03:35 pm (UTC)
From A Time Never Lived (out in May)
Sully (Sulman Kahvek) upon being teased of his arrogance (might sound a bit familiar. Heh-heh):
“Modesty is for fools, and you would not like me half so well if I were either.”
Jan. 4th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
Don't forget to add me to your list of stops on the upcoming blog tour, Terri :)
Jan. 4th, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC)
Will do!
Jan. 4th, 2012 10:12 pm (UTC)
Explains why so many people simply adore us both...
Jan. 4th, 2012 06:08 pm (UTC)

This is from a Children's Story Rhyme. Ms. Seagull is speaking to a "blue", Blue Oyster, who is sad, but truly has nothing to be sad about.

The Seagull has no evil motives; she is just the kind that lives her life as it comes - as a seagull should. Nothing more, nothing less. A simple bird, without pretense:

Seagull spoke: “Your life has meaning,
Even when dull or bright or… `tweaning.
Choose to be sad or, choose to eat puddings.
Life is just like that – there’s badings and goodings.”

Jan. 4th, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
Sounds like one smart seagull.

Thanks for sharing, Warren :)
Jan. 4th, 2012 06:16 pm (UTC)
Fun idea, Jon!

Psychic-medium Miranda Lorensen from my novel, "Testing the Prisoner":

"Even if you take a back seat in someone's life, at least you're behind them all the way."

In response to another character who felt guilty about treating her boyfriend poorly even though he never actually wronged her.

Jan. 4th, 2012 08:37 pm (UTC)
Lol, good one, Phil :)
Jan. 4th, 2012 10:13 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that ~is~ good.
Lucky for me this was not a competition...
Jan. 4th, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
Interesting device you've got there, that recorder. Those tape reels catch my talking-- yes, I get how it works. You can record my voice, long as you play it back for me. Music? Oh no, music wasn't recorded, when I was young. Leastwise not our music. Wasn't respectable.

All music come live. And lord, how live it was.It came out the sporting houses like... you ever see those cartoons, where they smell something cooking? And it's, oh, an arm, or an arrow-- beckons you closer? There'd be a rag playing at the Mahogany House, something red hot over at the White Hall-- and the notes could just float you right down the street. Those horns and pianos were conversating-- all staccato notes and scat-- and you were catching the gist, on the down low. Next time you heard it, it'd be all new. Live and changing.

--Jim la Crete, 1962

You can read the short story it's from here.
Jan. 4th, 2012 09:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing, laura :)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 4th, 2012 09:46 pm (UTC)
Re: heroic
Thanks for the promotion, Sue :)

I know what you mean about the quotes. It's hard when you don't have the context.
Jan. 5th, 2012 01:34 am (UTC)
re: fictitious character quotes
If we do love, truly LOVE, then we really must put the one we love first, even if it means inconvenience for ourselves. Because in the end all that matters is that we do what's truly best for the people we love the most. --the wisdom of Deirdre; in 'Deirdre, the Wanderer'.
Jan. 5th, 2012 10:32 am (UTC)
Re: fictitious character quotes
Nice one :)
Jan. 5th, 2012 04:35 am (UTC)
Gosh, Jon, can I do two? The first is rather long; it's a snippet of dialogue between my 14-year-old princess and her dad, from my middle-grade WIP, A Drive of Dragons

“You’re a princess! You have to marry!” he told her. “Where would you be today if I hadn’t married your mother, h’m?”

“For the succession, you mean? But father,” Verity said, her voice calm, “every prince I’ve met has been an idiot. What if I were to marry one of them and have an idiotic child? There has to be a better way of choosing the successor to the kingdom. For example -”

“Enough!” King Kurt roared. Verity shut her mouth and stood with her hands at her sides, waiting politely for her father to collect himself.
Jan. 5th, 2012 10:33 am (UTC)
Sounds like King Kurt has troubles ahead :)
Jan. 5th, 2012 04:39 am (UTC)
That's Verity in my icon, btw. The second is from Honor. My protagonist, 16, is talking to his cousin toward the end of the book.

"If you go home - we are dead there. Can the dead live again?"
Jan. 5th, 2012 10:34 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing, Mary :)
Jan. 5th, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing everyone's quotes. And I loved Mr. Tinkles, and wish we'd get to see more of him. (sad)
Jan. 6th, 2012 04:54 pm (UTC)
In that case, you'll be pleased to know he's being interviewed soon :)
Jan. 5th, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC)
In one of my older projects, a character said:

"The voices in my head usually give me better advice. Like, 'You're hungry. Go make a sandwich. And don't use that mayonnaise, it's expired.'"
Jan. 5th, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
Good one, James :)
Jan. 5th, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
Also, that scene with Mr. Tinkles is one of my favorite parts of your book.
Jan. 5th, 2012 08:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

Things What I Wrote and Other Stuff

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there

No longer in print but there are still some copies floating around out there



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