Take Me To Bed or Lose Me Forever…. by Nancy Brophy
Meg Ryan appeared on my radar screen of actresses when she yelled the line in my post’s title in the movie Top Gun. Certain lines from movies are forever embedded in our brains. And while you may associate her more with the climax scene in When Harry Met Sally, the Top Gun line was the sentence that made me watch for her name in trailers of up-coming movies.
Whether the story is about a woman’s journey to fame, “Hello gorgeous,” or a woman’s failure to grasp the direction her life has taken, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” well-written dialogue plays a major role in viewers’ connection with those on the screen.
Villains intimidate through words. “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!” made most of us quake in our boots when we were nine. Or thirty-five. “No wire hangers, ever!”
Dialogue, even without tags, says everything about your characters. A man who says “You’re quite the little bitch,” is a different, calmer character from the one who screams, “You bitch!” And yet, the words are almost the same.
Without dialogue, where would we be in the art of flirting? That fluttering fan-thing would get old quickly. But a woman who says, “You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow” wants exactly the same thing as the woman who says “La-dee-da, la-dee-da.” They just represent different characters.
And we wonder why men are confused.
I’ve started a new story, sequel to Hell On The Heart. The working title is Some Men Deserve Killing. As I stumble though the initial dance of flirting between the hero and heroine, it is clever dialogue that will determine if she agrees to go to bed with him or not.
Would you say yes to a man who says, “Your eyes are as blue as my toilet water at home.” No?
Neither would my character, even if she saw herself as a Mae West type woman, “I used to be snow white, but I drifted.”
No, my guy is going to have to work for this. After all, isn’t that why we read romance?