I’m looking right at YOU as I type this, Steve Berry

There is a certain thing hackey writers do way too often.

An annoying thing.

Where they take a fragment or a short sentence.

And make it into its own very short paragraph.

To make you think something dramatic is going on.

Something suspenseful.

Even if nothing particularly suspenseful or dramatic is happening.

At all.

Ugh. Sorry about that.  I’m reading a bad book for reasons I’d rather not get into, and I’m inflicting its badness on you.

Speaking of the badness of this book, I am shocked that even the hackier writers among us are still using “we got company” (or some variant thereof) when a bunch of armed bad guys show up.  It is one of those jokes that has been so heavily used for so long that people have forgotten that it is supposed to be a joke (as in “Put out the good china, Aunt Ethel, ’cause we got company!” [gunfight ensues]), and now it has become something that very lazy writers think a character is just naturally supposed to say when a bunch of armed bad guys show up.

I would be very interested to know the first time anyone ever said “we got company” in a book or movie, but a cursory Google search has failed to turn up any results.  Next in the lazy researcher checklist is to mention it in a web log post in the hope that some less lazy reader will provide the answer.

Because I need to know.

I need to know badly.

Very badly.

-Norm De Plume

Published in: on August 3, 2009 at 11:02 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That technique looks like a Rolex ad from the 80s.

    In its defense: It works for comedy.

  2. It does sound like that. I’m going to call this particular style Dated Masculine.

    Any comedy in the book I’m reading is completely unintentional.

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