Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: RARA-AVIS Digest V4 #499

Date: 03 Sep 2002

In a message dated 9/3/02 4:16:59 PM, writes:

<< I vote for right on target for the forum. I'm interested,

Jean. Let's hear it! Unless, of course, it's giving away

trade secrets. >>

They're not trade secrets, no. Some are serious, and some are downright funny. To set the scene very briefly, the protagonist is a newspaper columnist who has stumbled onto an ingriguing little mystery that mushrooms on him. He is 33 and single. Instead of a dog, I gave him a couple of cats, because anyone in a profession with unpredictable hours can't always get home to walk a dog. One of my guy friends suggested that a single man wouldn't have cats, that it was a single-woman thing. I totally disagree, having known several manly men who love cats. But in deference to his judgment, I made my character a reluctant cat owner. The cats came to his door as very young kittens, and being an animal lover, he couldn't ignore them ... so ... And now, of course, they rule his house.

My character was noticing too much about what the people around him wore. It's important for a reporter (I know since I am one) to notice every detail about a person who is the subject of an interview. But guys apparently don't notice stern suits and cameo broaches on old ladies who simply pass through their lives. Lesson learned.

Another friend suggested that when the character walked into a bar, his first move should be to scope out the women. Both of my friends claim that no hetero male ever entered a bar without looking over the women as a first priority.

I gave the character a Chevy Blazer (SUV) instead of a car.

At one point, he took note of the cleanliness of an apartment he had entered to interview another man. Wrong, the guys told me. Most men don't notice a little dust. It was fine for my character to have to move food-encrusted plates to make room for a case of beer, or to set a beer down next to an overflowing ashtray. But he had to be oblivious when it came to dust bunnies.

There's more, but you get the drift. This has been a bit of an amusing exercise for me. I hope it helps some of you.

Best, Jean Heller

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