Wednesday 29 January 2020

Acting like normal people

Wrestling with my tax return this week, the thought occurred to me, along with a lot of swear words, which we will not go into here - when did you last read a book where someone was doing the same?  I'm sure there are references to doing accounts, making up the books, doing paperwork and so on, but a down and dirty, throwing things at the wall encounter with the delightful wad of incomprehensible forms? Maybe I'll use that sometime. Romantic novelists joke about whether you could ever have a hero who was a tax inspector. Now that has started a hare in my brain. The brain of a novelist ...

The tax return thing got me assembling a mental list of other stuff you rarely see - the ordinary stuff of living:

Doing the ironing
Sorting the recycling
Paying the window cleaner - and what about a hero who is a window cleaner?
Visiting the optician and getting new glasses fitted. That's got me on to a hero/heroine who wear glasses.
Changing library books ...

I bet you can add more.

On the other hand, based on a very unscientific skim through my own reading, heroes and heroines spend a lot of time hanging out in coffee shops, either working or meeting cute baristas, or both. Also there is generally a lot of drinking coffee/wine/gin, baking wonderful cakes, or having disasters while attempting it, walking on the beach, interacting with a cute dog/cat, having minor traffic accidents to provide the meet cute (and yes, the traffic warden is another 'not my hero' area). There's a lot of cute stuff in here. Also characters in books often have careers in the media, or publishing. They seem to suffer from an higher than average tendency to sprained ankles (see also meet cute, above). I saw a tweet last week too that mentioned that lots of characters seem to suffer from amnesia. And there is an exceptionally high instance of close relative suffering death by air or car crash. Which is not good if you happen to be a close relative.

And that's given me an idea for another post, so I'll do that one next week.

No comments:

Post a Comment