Is there a line from a movie you live by? Or a favorite television show you and your friends or spouse always quote? In my real life there are a few recurring imitations of fiction.
First, I often share that I can relate almost any situation to a Seinfeld episode—and will often take the opportunity to do so, quoting the Soup Nazi’s “No Soup for You,” or a random, “You’ve gotta see the baby!”
Another example of fiction creeping into real life happens at my house, if something goes wrong or someone makes a silly mistake, the exclamation most likely to ring through the air is a dead ringer for Homer Simpson’s “Doh!”
Finally, fiction influences my real life with a quote from the movie Manchurian Candidate. When my husband and I were dating back in the day, the Manchurian Candidate was re-released in theaters. We went to see it at the Uptown and in addition to the assassination plot haunting us so did this line, because it captures us perfectly: “There are two kinds of people in this world—those who walk into a room and turn the tv on, and those who walk into a room and turn the tv off. Unfortunately, they usually end up marrying each other.” And as a result, I borrow this line when I want to turn off the television.
You may think it silly for me to mention these things. What does it matter that fictional characters influence my vocabulary and reactions to the things around me? Well, this is one of the factors to consider when developing a fictional character. What favorite books, movies, and television shows will the character love so much that they permeate his or her life? Maybe he could quote Monte Python, break out into a Motown hit every time someone says something that reminds him of a lyric, or relate everything in life to a CSI episode.Maybe she quotes lines from Harry Potter, or changes her hairstyle to match the one in the latest Sandra Bullock movie. The possibilities are endless.
You see, fiction can be fodder for fiction!
Share some of your favorite “you-isms” taken from fiction in the comments. I’d love to hear them!
Until next time, best to you,
Lisa Lipkind Leibow