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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Encounters with psychotic checkout computers

You know that the quick trip to Tescos is going to take a lot longer when you encounter a psychotic computer at the self serve kiosk. You have not put the item in baggage area. Yes I did I can see it. Try again with cheese. Unexpected item in baggage area. And on it goes until it is obvious that it would have been much quicker to use one of the checkout counters manned by a human.


Tess & Hardy discovered that by stretching they could reach the top of the cabinet where I had ill advisedly left my keys and sunglasses. The sunglasses will have to be repaired. Unfortunately puppies do not understand the words -- where are the keys. They simply look at you with bemused expressions as the house is turned upside down. And then follow you about as if enjoying the game and ex claim in polite delight as you unearth all manner of things -- old socks, half eaten biscuit, the note your youngest swore he gave the teacher three weeks ago...
The keys were found...eventually-- between the dog bed and the counter.

Janet in the comments asked about scenes and sequels -- should romance novels have them? Everything needs to justify its place and needs to advance the story,particularly in series where every image has to justify its existence. Sometimes it is necessary for a short scene/sequel which allows other tensions and layers to be brought in.
I keep thinking about the central premise of Fire in Fiction-- that Passion or Desire and Determination can be taught. That is slightly wrong. Passion must come from within. You work hard at perfecting a story because of the desire to tell the best story possible. All the tricks etc will not work if you do not have that drive. Drive cannot be taught. Ways to harness the drive can be. There is a difference.

2 comments:

Donna Alward said...

I think following a rigid scene and sequel method isn't always best. Sometimes you can dilute the tension so badly. But there are times when a sequel - a time of assessing what's just happened, assimilating it and deciding what to do next - is necessary. Sometimes they are the ligaments holding things together, so that it feels connected without being a bunch of scenes thrown together, you know? Or at least that's how my mind works.

But I agree passion cannot be taught. What can be taught, IMO, is how to articulate it.

Lacey Devlin said...

Life with technology is never dull. It's taught me some very colourful language over the years, especially when the monitor went bang and the smell of smoke filled the room. I think I'll steer clear of checkout computers I'm pretty sure I could blow one of those up just by standing near it!

Puppies are so much fun. I hope the house training is going well. My last baby liked to chew on the chair legs. Say goodbye to the dining room table set :)