Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday Help

Hey all, hope you had a wonderful weekend!

I have a question for you.  I'm struggling with part of my current WIP. I have some people who are a little snarky and a lot condescending. They are supposed to be mean to my MC but I'm having trouble coming up with the right attitude and words.  Basically I want them to deliver comments that sound almost like compliments, but are really completely insulting.  Does anyone know of novels (or TV shows for that matter) that have that kind of character I can read to get into the mood and  get ideas? I guess I'm glad that I'm struggling to write mean people, but it will make for a pretty boring book if I can't get it figured out.

And here's a bonus link to a post about satisfying endings.  Hope you enjoy!

Edited to add: I forgot this link for ten signs you just might be a writer. I resembled quite a few of them.

24 comments:

  1. Thanks for the link, Sara. I like happy endings even if they're sad.

    Comments? Maybe stuff like:

    OMG, you are so brave to walk around dressed like that.
    Here's my hairdresser's card. Call her.
    I should call your mother. The fact she didn't drown you as a baby must mean she's one terrific dame.

    Sorry, Sara. Insults seem to come easier from my family. haha

    ReplyDelete
  2. I blogged asking for help today too. :-)

    Hmmmm. Think sarcasm. To me, it's the meanest.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Attend the next local sporting event and sit next to the hecklers. That should do it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. All I can think of is Doctor House.
    Don't know if that helps.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sarcasm is a must. Think a Southern "Witch" saying "Bless your heart. You must have... etc." Channel that attitude and you should get a bit of mean in there.

    BTW, I love the Endings post! What a keeper!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ha. I was going to say the same thing. If they're southern, they could just tack on a pitting 'well, bless your heart.' LOL

    ReplyDelete
  7. That should have been pitying. :P

    ReplyDelete
  8. LOL at David's comment. I'm naturally sarcastic so those individuals are easy for me to write.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Boy, I'm not good at being mean either... How about something like, "Maybe we should declare a national emergency?" You know, have the other character go overboard.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Congratulations! You have been chosen winner of Alison Stuart post at Romance Reader. Please contact Alison via her website!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hmmm... Southern women do back-handed compliments especially well. Will try to come up with some movies for you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I was thinking of Southern speech too :-)
    Hmm, I can't think of specific examples off the top of my head - except for the wee snip Claire shared on Twitter the other day: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1s04fk8

    I've done that writing-on-napkins thing often! Actually, I do all of those things except for the tape recorder thing (no way I'm listening to my own voice!).

    ReplyDelete
  13. Back-handed compliments, gotta love them! I have this one friend who is always saying things to me like, "You're so good to spend so much time writing! I wish I could be more like you...but I'm spending so much time with my kids and they deserve all my attention, so..." And I'm like, "Here, have this bag of shut the hell up!" haha, jk. I just think that.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anything Regency has that kind of dialogue.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I wish I could help, I'm having a similar problem. I'm trying to stay positive, like you, and be happy I have a hard time being mean. But it makes for a lot of rewriting. Thanks for the links.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sit-coms or comedies where the parents or in-laws come to visit OR stories about going to a reunion can sometimes come with a number of back-handed compliments written into the dialogue.I think it's because these are situations where the aggression is present, but people still need to be polite.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just watched an old Private Practice on Netflix where Addison's mom (JoBeth Williams) visited and was snarky like that. She pulled it off SO well. It was season 3, episode 9, "The Parent Trap," if that helps. She said, in a very neutral way, something like, "You know, not everyone can pull off short hair. It makes some people look old." She said it so offhandedly that it took a second for even the viewer to realize it was an insult to her daughter. The key was, she was a troubled character. I've noticed that a lot with passive-aggressive, mean characters in fiction, especially women. Later, when it comes out they're insecure and troubled themselves, it makes you more sympathetic toward them, so it turns it around and makes it work.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Invisibility, by Andrea Cremer & David Levithan, has a bit of that sort of snarky dialogue. Good luck, Sara!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Anything Victorian, like Pride and Prejudice and Downton Abbey. Those guys are bred to speak with hidden insults. Might give you some ideas.

    For some reason Sherlock also comes to mind. Maybe it's a British thing.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I agree with all of the above. I thought of The Help. Good Luck.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I grew up surrounded by those people. Ugh. I'm betting you'd find plenty of it on one the Housewive's shows. I don't actually watch TV so no real advice for you there, though, and no books spring to mind. Good like finding your mean.

    ReplyDelete
  22. All the best with finding what you mean. Nothing comes to mind at the moment...

    Nas

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh I wish it wasn't so late and my brain not a congealed mess because all I can think of right now is Tyrion Lannister, lol. :)

    ReplyDelete