Something Short

“People are staring at us,” he said.

“No, they’re not.”

a December day in 1990
a December day in 1990

He looked down at the tickets in his hand. “Yes, they are.” He handed our tickets to the usher. “It’s fine. It’s funny.”

“I wore flats,” I said. I liked him. I’d jumped up and down when he called and asked me out.

“You look great,” he said, and walked over to the concession stand.

Which do you think works better with characters in fiction? Opposites attract or birds of a feather?

5 thoughts on “Something Short

  1. Great photo choice. Another one that sort of sneaks up on you.

    One possible answer to your question might found in an author’s relationship to his own characters. I couldn’t swear to this, but many (most? all?) storytellers seem to have the most crackling fun with characters unlike the storytellers themselves… even or especially evil characters, ugly ones, amoral ones.

    When the opposite ends of a relationship are too much alike, all you’ve got is heft — a plain old iron bar. Give it a magnetic charge and interesting (and unpredictable!) things start to happen.

  2. Love this post. And the photo. I get the feeling that the guy may not have called back. He seems too insecure about his height.

    I was going to say that opposites would probably make for better fiction, but I like what Shelly said better.

  3. Shelly, I hope that is what my characters do.

    JES, I get the best comments about characters not at all like me. They seem more real.

    shelli, Well, he and I stayed friends for a while, but he flat out told me he couldn’t handle dating someone taller. At least he was honest about it. Most guys just didn’t call back.

  4. I agree with JES. If a character is too much like me, I seem to have a problem figuring out who they are and they become this kind of cipher… a hole around which the rest of the story happens. I gave up on a novel with a main character like this.

    I have to say, it’s probably the differences that work for characters. If the characters are too much alike, I have to wonder why they are both there at all. They have to have some differences, in character and in the role they play, or you might as well just combine them into one character and simplify things.

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