I Wish I Had Said That!by Mario V. Farina
Had Said That!
Mario V. Farina
Copyright 2017 Mario V. Farina
All Rights Reserved
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Mario V. Farina
I thought I'd give you examples so that you could see for yourself the validity of what I'm saying. Take for example, the story, "A Meal To End All Meals." In the story Vincent Bradshaw had greatly wronged Nancy Beth. He had made plans to have her murdered and thought he had succeeded. He hadn't succeeded. She devised a proper punishment. She made a meal for him that was supposed to be a meal to end all meals. However, she had been merciful If the meal had contained a few more of a special kind of tasty tidbits, it could have been a meal to end all meals. When the meal was having its final punitive effect, she said this to Vincent:
"Stop that mewling, you arrogant, sleazy, lowlife, scumbag. You're not dying! Tom gave me stuff for your chicken that was meant to give you a bellyache you'd never forget. That's all! The pain will continue for a long time but you won't die. I have to leave now. But, do think of me! Think of me a lot! Think how much worse this could have been. This evening's banquet could have been a meal to end all meals!"
Nancy Beth made this statement, not I.
In the story, "Judge Me Fair," Henry Wilton was on trial for the charge that he had murdered his wife. He had not done it and was found not guilty. The judge knew he was innocent and had made sure he would not be convicted. Judge Lee Mannerheim said this to him:
"Henry, you know what a stickler I am for ethical behavior. I wouldn't have taken such extreme actions if I hadn't known the truth. But, my love, what a dunce you were that night! When you flew down to see me, you played right into the hands of the Prosecution. It was lucky for you that the judge knew you were not guilty!"
The judge made this statement. I had nothing to do with it.
In the story, "A Rolls With ESP," the Rolls Royce advises his owner that Robert, his owner, is not allowed to drive him. He must always be driven by a chauffeur. When Robert objects stating he is the auto's owner, and the car should obey him, the Rolls responds this way:
“Oh, no, Robert, Rolls cars are never owned. They only serve their chosen companions. For the present, you are my chosen companion. But please understand, this relationship is subject to change!”
It was the Rolls who made this arrogant remark, not I.
In the story "Angie, Guardian Angel," Angie, a child in Heaven, is called upon by God to visit Earth to ensure that Mr. Adam Gordon does not carry through with secret heinous plans. Angie is successful in her assignment. The man states the intended victim, Cindy Ross, is lucky to have Angie as her guardian angel. Angie replies,
"Cindy already has a guardian angel. You've never had one because you repeatedly rejected them. From this moment, I will be your guardian angel!"
This is a remark from the mouth of a babe. I could not have ordained this remark from my lips.
In the story, "First Date on a Windy Day," Matthew Grimms wants to date a co-worker named Glenda Robinson. He is concerned with his hair loss. His worst scenario comes to pass when, while on a date with Glenda in a sports car, his hair blows off, and sails out of the car to the street. He is greatly embarrassed. Glenda makes this remark:
"Oh, Professor, it's not what's on a man's head that's important. It's what's inside that counts!"
This statement of acumen comes from a very wise young women. Your author, being moderately bereft of hair himself, would not have thought of it.
In the story, "Rich Lady Poor Guy," William Hamilton and Thelma Smith were engaged to be married. When Thelma won the lottery and, suddenly, became very wealthy. William could not handle the situation where Thelma would become more of the family breadwinner than he. They took a thought break to decide whether the couple should marry. William had not expected Thelma would make the decision. She said,
"Bill, dear, when two people love each other, material obstacles should never be major issues. In a marriage, I want love to be the primary consideration. There should always be the feeling that despite difficulties, everything will work out. You showed me that your love for me was not strong enough to overcome the problem that I was going to be a rich lady while you were fated to be the poor guy!"
Thelma had made this decision, not the story teller.
In the story, "Devotion," Michael had been unfaithful to his wife, Adele. She needed to decide how to handle the heartbreaking event. Was she to be a "One strike and you're out person," or one who tries to save the marriage. She consulted with a psychologist who advised she needed to make her own mind as to which type to person she was. She thought deeply about this then announced her decision. She said,
"I've decided what type I am. Go upstairs, clean up, and take a shower. When you're done, come back. I'm devoted to you and to this marriage. We need to have a long talk about the future."
An author cannot make a decision having this amount of significance. The character in the story need to do this.
In the story, "Betrayer," Jill Wallace and Belle Camera are friends, but Belle does not know that Jill is interested in taking Belle husband, Ed, away from her. Her devious plan is discovered and Belle makes this memorable statement:
"Ed, would you open the door. I'm going to take this woman by the arm and escort her to the door, then, pardon my French, I'm going to push her out with a kick to the derriere."
How else but with a woman betrayed, could anyone make a statement like this? I had no choice about writing these words. Belle did this for me!
The story entitled, "I Don't Think I Should Do That," is a tale about three people, Andy; his wife, Emily; and a girlfriend named Mary. Andy was tempted in being unfaithful to his wife. He had gone through this experience years before and had almost destroyed his marriage in the past. Now, it might happen again. Though Mary had fallen in love with Andy, she knew what she must do to ensure, her embryonic affair with him would end. She said this:
"Andy, I've just come from the jewelry store. I saw a ring there that was to die for. I wanted to buy it, but didn't know whether I should. I'm wondering if you'd mind going there to see whether it's worth the money they're asking."
She was crying as she made the statement, but it had the desired affect. She had saved Andy's marriage -- at least, for the time being. Mary had decided these words must be said, not the author of the story.
In the story, "Nice Twin, Mean Twin," Kelli and Mary Lou are identical twins. They have both fallen in love with Bob Weaver. The twins have been impersonating each other. Bob asked the mean twin to marry him when he really wanted to ask the nice twin. The twins must make a decision as to which twin should really accept the proposal. Mary Lou, the mean twin makes this statement:
"I know that I am the mean twin. But you are the one that he has really asked for the engagement. What we need to do is go see him, and tell him that you are the one who is accepting the engagement."
Who but the twin herself, could make this unselfish statement? At this point the story wrote itself to its proper ending.
In the story, "What Do We Do Now," Tim and Angie Madison had just been married and were at the start of their honeymoon trip. Angie admitted that she was scared of the evening's arrival. Tim had a suggestion that worked. He said,
"Let's you and I crawl under the sheets of the bed over there -- just as we are. Let's remove our clothing under the covers and throw them to the floor. Then, even though we're both scared, let's stare at each other until we start laughing. I think, at that time, we'll know what to do next."
This part of the story wrote itself.
In "The Ponzi Scheme," David has been involved in a secret affair with Janet. When Wendy, his wife, asks him if he has been faithful to her, he lies, responding yes. In answer to his question, she announces that the would not tolerate even one deviation from fidelity. Worried he breaks his affair with Janet. Then he discovers that Wendy probably already knows of his infidelity. David utters three these words:
"Oh my God! Oh my God!"
The author didn't write those words. He simply wrote down the words he heard David pronounce!
What do I mean when I write, "I wish I had said that?" Is it possible for an author to have no control over what is said in a story? Yes, it happens with me. When I begin a story, I don't know every word that will be in it. I have a general idea of where it's going, but much of it changes as the story is written. From a given point, every word becomes preordained. In as sense, the story takes control.
The words are the words the players actually say. The author says, "I wish I had said that!"