"For instance, say you have a guy walking down the street, and it's cold, and you've always wanted a leather topcoat, so you give him one. Then you follow him down the street. Describe what you see, and listen carefully.
|Trench coat, $119. Photo: Greg Peterson/San Francisco |
Chronicle, 1971. From here.
Say this boy meets a girl. The boy in the leather overcoat meets the beautiful girl with the harelip and the Gucci bag, on the street, and he can't just say, Hey, let's get married! Things need to happen. They need to get to know each other, even if just a little. They will talk to each other, and they will talk about each other to friends. Get this all down. After you've spent a while with them, they will start to sound more like themselves--because you are really getting to know them--and you may see that you'd better get rid of that topcoat, it's pretty jive, and that you need to go back and redo the early dialogue." (68)
Lamott, Anne. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. New York: Anchor Books, 1995.
How the wardrobes of your characters will change over time, mostly due to jiveness.