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.
Thanks for the link, Sara. I like happy endings even if they're sad.ReplyDelete
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
I blogged asking for help today too. :-)ReplyDelete
Hmmmm. Think sarcasm. To me, it's the meanest.
Attend the next local sporting event and sit next to the hecklers. That should do it! :)ReplyDelete
All I can think of is Doctor House.ReplyDelete
Don't know if that helps.
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.ReplyDelete
BTW, I love the Endings post! What a keeper!
Ha. I was going to say the same thing. If they're southern, they could just tack on a pitting 'well, bless your heart.' LOLReplyDelete
That should have been pitying. :PReplyDelete
LOL at David's comment. I'm naturally sarcastic so those individuals are easy for me to write.ReplyDelete
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
Congratulations! You have been chosen winner of Alison Stuart post at Romance Reader. Please contact Alison via her website!ReplyDelete
Hmmm... Southern women do back-handed compliments especially well. Will try to come up with some movies for you!ReplyDelete
I was thinking of Southern speech too :-)ReplyDelete
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!).
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
Anything Regency has that kind of dialogue.ReplyDelete
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
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
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
Invisibility, by Andrea Cremer & David Levithan, has a bit of that sort of snarky dialogue. Good luck, Sara!ReplyDelete
Anything Victorian, like Pride and Prejudice and Downton Abbey. Those guys are bred to speak with hidden insults. Might give you some ideas.ReplyDelete
For some reason Sherlock also comes to mind. Maybe it's a British thing.
I agree with all of the above. I thought of The Help. Good Luck.ReplyDelete
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
All the best with finding what you mean. Nothing comes to mind at the moment...ReplyDelete
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
Thanks for linking to my post :-)ReplyDelete