Contrariness of Characters


Here’s what I decided earlier today should occur in the next scene. I took down this note:

‘What happens next: Pleasant evening with Ffip and Mars, Jeremy has soup and feels better.’

When I started to write it, however, I found that my characters are still bickering. Holmes and Watson were never this querulous.


‘“Are you really feeling all right?” Ffip asked.

“I’m fine.”

“You were so sick, Jeremy. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“I’m better now, thanks to all of you.”

“Mars has been taking care of your horse. He’s got a comfortable, large barn out in the yard, and he stopped in the market and had some hay delivered.”

“Sounds like I owe him some money.”

Mars creaked the chair when he turned around.

“I was going to keep the horse if you passed on, J,” he said, using a nickname of old.

“You’ll have to get over the loss.”

“The horse is so much less tiresome than you are, though.”

“Looking around this house of yours I’d say maybe you’ve gotten too used to having plenty anyway. You’ll get complacent.”

“Yeah, I had things real easy when my best friend shoved me off for no fault of my own, just as we were about to go into business together.”

“Seeing as how I shoved you off but handed along all the money we’d saved at the same time, I guess you did all right.”

“Having to deal with money instead of you? Yes, you’re right.”

“You do sound like you’re upset about it, though. Maybe you’re begging me for another apology?”

“Try it and I’ll flatten you.”

“Sheesh!” interrupted Ffip in a high voice. “Would you two mind giving this a rest for the evening?”

“I’ll be hard,” grumbled Mars. “I don’t know how I never noticed before how irritating Jeremy is.”

“I guess my fist in your face might be irritating,” growled Jeremy in reply.

“Actually no; care to try it?”

Ffip surged to her feet.

“Enough!” she exclaimed, and then glared at them. “Now, I’m not a servant here, you know.”

“No one said you were,” said Mars.

“I’ve made dinner for us, which was nice of me, correct?”


“Then both of you,” she said with a frown, “shut up while I serve it.”


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