Threesomes are way more interesting than twosomes. There’s more tension, more that’s unpredictable, and more excitement. It isn’t one against the other, but one against two or one against one and another against one, and another against one. It could even be a greater combination than that. So threesomes are the way to go to really engage your audience. I am of course, talking about writing, about scenes and dialogue between three players.
I learned the real power of this from Debra Monroe’s class.
So, as a writer, I write things that are purely for practice, but open to become something if I choose.
The practice was writing about a picture. The black and white photo revealed a man holding a fish next to a woman with a string of fish in an urban setting. I added the idea that there was another there to take the picture.
Warning: unedited practice piece coming up.
“I tried to warn you,” Emily said, fish scales glistening on her forehead.
“How was I to know?” her husband Jake said pulling his hat lower over his eyes.
“I failed in my warning, but I tried. There’s no fish in that spot since Clem started dumping dirt from his property.”
Jake took off his hat now and rubbed his hair back, the hair shimmered as it took on lake water from his hand.
“Always follow me,” she said.
Clem said, “Quit talking about it like that. It’s only dirt. Can’t keep fish away.”
“Dirty dirt,” she said and picked up one end of her line strung with fish. She wrapped the end of the cord around the fence post.
“Hurry up, so I can take the picture,” Clem said fiddling with the camera. “How do you work this anyway?” The bald circle of skin was sweating even in the winter’s sun.
Jake said, “Seems to me there’s something in that dirt to make it kill off fish.”
Emily said, “Jake, just get ready for the picture.”
“I only have to hold up one fish. You hang your other line. What’d you get, thirty fish?”
“Forty-four. And Clem, I think it’s more what you keep in that dirt.”
“I’m not standing around for this.” Sweat covered Clem’s face and he wiped his forehead with the back of one arm, the digital camera tight in the other hand.
Emily finished off her sailor’s knot and grabbed her longest fish. “Twenty-six inches,” she said. “Clem, dead bodies will mess up soil like that. Something about acid. You have dead bodies in your lawn?”
Clem held the camera out. “Take your own damn picture.”
“Was it Marcie, Clem? You said she ran off with some Lothario.”
Jake said, “We’re ready now,” his fish down by his waist.
Emily lifted her largest fish up to chin level.
So take characters from what you are working on or discover some new ones and practice a threesome. Each character has an agenda or two. Have fun!