Building Blocks (Days of The Week)

The day of the week has both obvious and subtle influence on the overall scene or dialogue. For example, the day of the week the character is attending church can have influence if it is not a Sunday. Think about experiences in your life that coincide with/not with, the ‘accepted’ norm of the setting.

– What days of the week are ‘normal’ work days for teachers?

– The wedding was held on a?

– Does the night of the week have an impact on what the reader thinks about the characters going on a date?

– Friday the 13th?

Aside from religious associations, days of the week also have positive/negative social considerations that could affect the story atmosphere.

Monday: Associated with the first day of the work week and weekend memories, a number of popular songs in Western culture feature Monday, often as a day of depression and anxiety. For example, Monday, Monday (1966) from the Mamas & the Papas, Rainy Days and Mondays (1971) from the Carpenters, I Don’t Like Mondays (1979) from the Boomtown Rats, and Manic Monday (1986) from the Bangles.

Wednesday: In North America, Wednesday is sometimes informally referred to as “hump day”, a reference to the fact that Wednesday is the middle day—or “hump”—of a typical work week. The name of Wednesday Friday Addams, a member of the fictional family The Addams Family, is said to be a name is derived from the idea that Wednesday’s child is full of woe.

Thursday: In Australia, most cinema premieres are held on Thursdays. For college students, Thursday is sometimes referred to as the new Friday, because there are often fewer, or sometimes no classes on Fridays and, therefore, more opportunities to hold parties on Thursday night. As a consequence, some call Thursday “thirstday” or “thirsty Thursday”.

Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.

Building Blocks (Incidentals)

Each of us have had incidental events in our lives that may have seemed insignificant at the time, but periodically jump back into our thought process. Thus, a past incidental event could trigger a present thought or action by our characters. For example, I remember being at the Baltimore Flower Mart, and while in the crowed by the Washington Monument, I saw a helicopter flying overhead. Not long after that, on the cover of the Baltimore phone directory was the picture they were taking from the helicopter; and yep, I could pick myself out in the crowed. That incident snaps back into my thoughts every time I read something about the Washington Monument area of Baltimore. Let’s think about how the memory of that event would affect the action of a character standing now in front of the monument.

Here are some ‘incidental event’ ideas:
On a plane flight, the flight attendant spilt hot coffee in your, or another passenger’s, lap.
Getting into a taxi in the city, a stranger jumps into the cab next to you.
In northern Minnesota you saw firefighters using the Jaws of Life to help free a black bear whose head was stuck in a milk can (news item September 7, 2018).
While visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you saw hundreds of bicyclers ride past, including nude riders (news item September 8, 2018).
At the Paignton Zoo Environmental Park in Devon, UK you saw a baboon pluck hair off another baboon to floss its own teeth. (per a 3 September 2018 article).
A pigeon lands on your outdoor café table to eat from the bread basket. (Yep, I experienced this one.)

Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.

Building Blocks (catchphrases: take two)

Last April we looked at catchphrases…those verbal ques to the possible age, but more likely the ‘style’ and disposition, of our characters. As mentioned, most catchphrases have lived beyond their birth generation, and the user may not even know who first said it, associate with the original/carry over social order, or even know the original meaning. Here are some additional ones:

Read between the lines: This mid-19th century expression derives from a simple form of cryptography, in which a hidden meaning was conveyed by secreting it between lines of text. An early printed example is from The New York Times, August 1862, when the writer tells us we may have to “read between the lines” of a puzzling piece of communication.

Say goodnight Gracie: This was coined as the sign-off at the end of the George Burns and Gracie Allen show in 1958.

Back to the drawing board: This saying has been used since WWII to say the design has failed and a new one is needed. The phrase originated in a cartoon by Curtis Peters for the New Yorker magazine in 1941. As military personnel run to a crashed plane, one, who is holding rolled paper, calls out “Well, back to the old drawing board.”

Face the music: Accepting the unpleasant consequences of one’s actions. The origin of this phrase is not known. It may refer to a disgraced individual being ‘drummed out’ of the military, or a stage actor facing the orchestra pit. Your character may also be referring to Face the Music, an American television musical guessing game show that aired daily in syndication from January 1980 to September 1981.

Chick flick: This term has made a dramatic (pun intended) U-turn in meaning. In the 1980s the term referred to sexually exploitative films. However, in the early 1990s ‘chick flick’ began to be used to describe a movie of love and romance targeting the female audience.

Never give a sucker an even break: This saying is generally associated with W.C.Fields, who said it as an ad-lib in a stage production of the musical Poppy in 1923, and made a film of this name in 1943.

Born To Be Wild: This is the title of a 1968 song by Steppenwolf used in the movie Easy Rider. The first line of the song is “Get your motor runnin’ “…

So, get your motor runnin’ and do some creative writing!
Here’s a link to How you doin?(Building Blocks).

Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.