Awkward conversations are a part of life--and writing. Many TV shows and books are littered with them. They can be helpful for humorous occasions or just to make your readers cringe with sympathy when the characters begin to ramble.
What are the different stages of an awkward conversation?
Well, usually it begins with:
The Awkward Silence
This is when both characters involved in the conversation (usually the MC and someone else) realizes that they have no idea how to talk to each other. They usually start to fidget, look around the room, or check their watch. This usually leads to:
Most of the time, the MC is the one doing the rambling. They're the one trying to fill the gap by talking about whatever comes to mind: their families, a TV show they watched recently, or some other topic. Normally this ends with something funny they heard that day, which doesn't turn out to be that funny the second time around. The other character will give a fake, feeble laugh, and then the silence falls again.
Attempted Small Talk
After the rambling ends, the MC sometimes tries to thaw the ice by talking about something neutral and meaningless, like the food they're eating, the clothes the other person is wearing, or the weather that day. This doesn't usually end well, but the MC was brave enough to try, and for that we must applaud them . . . halfheartedly. (Really, you couldn't think of anything else)?
"I gotta go . . . this has been fun!"
This is when the other character pretends to receive an urgent phone call or text to get out of the conversation. Sometimes they suddenly remember a dentist or doctor appointment. Either way, this is when the MC realizes that this meeting has not gone well.
Some TV shows that are brilliant at this are Gilmore Girls, especially the conversations between Rory and Dean, and Friends.
Have your characters ever been in an awkward situation? If so, how did they handle themselves?
Monday, June 3, 2013
The Awkward Conversation
I am a 17-year-old homeschooler, author, daydreamer, voracious reader, introvert, feminist, klutz, fangirl, and overuser of tape. I love the impossible (which might explain my obsessions with fantasy novels and Harry Potter) but I dip into the real world . . . occasionally. I tend to get overly emotional over my OTPs and eat sushi or listen to Taylor Swift to soothe the pain. If all else fails, reruns of “Doctor Who” or “Supernatural” is sure to help. I’m a big fan of mismatched socks, Cheez-Its, and bittersweet endings. I believe anything Rainbow Rowell, Felicia Day, or Lin-Manuel Miranda touches turns to gold. If you want to win the way to my heart, help me adopt a baby elephant. Or a llama. Or both. I write to survive and will often yell at my characters if they aren’t behaving, which is always. It doesn’t usually help. I am a contributor to the "Fauxpocalypse" anthology. You can follow me on Twitter at @Magic_Violinist.