1. idle
    Offline

    idle Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    one of the hearts of Europe

    Staying ambiguous

    Discussion in 'Writing Prompts' started by idle, Feb 19, 2013.

    In the last few weeks I've been entertaning myself trying to come up with a way to avoid answering some types of questions without being too obvious about it. I wasn't much successful, but maybe some of you can beat the challenge.

    Here's an example:

    You're talking to a friend and see someone looking your way. Your friend asks you: "Do you know this guy?"

    Now, for some reason you don't want to admit that you do. You don't want to say no either, because that would be a lie. If you avoid answering, it's like saying "yes, but I don't want to admit it". What would you say?

    My idea was to confuse things even more by saying: "Do I have to answer? Haha, but that's making you think I do know him, right?"

    Would you get fooled? What would you say instead? If you feel like expanding the situation into more than one line of dialogue, that's fine.
     
  2. chicagoliz
    Offline

    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 30, 2012
    Messages:
    3,295
    Likes Received:
    815
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    You could say "He looks familiar."
     
  3. The Tourist
    Offline

    The Tourist Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,089
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Wisconsin.
    Try something that chills the exchange.

    I always say, "I think I saw him once in general population in jail."

    It's also a great way to rid yourself of the guy you're talking to. Suddenly he has to run home and clean out his garage.
     
  4. minstrel
    Online

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,726
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    You could suddenly tackle your friend to the ground, yell "Stay down! I'll go get help!" then flee, leave town, and never come back. The question is, how badly do you really want to get out of this situation?

    (I haven't had my coffee yet this morning. You can probably tell.)
     
  5. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Maybe a partly relevant observation or question?
    "I wonder why he's looking at us like that?"
     
  6. doghouse
    Offline

    doghouse Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2012
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    1
    I think you're thinking about subtext in writing, and it is an important tool to writing a story -- and the great thing about it is that it allows more people to interpret how they want to, making them relate far more easier. Also, life is full of subtext -- either or both of action/dialogue in stories can achieve it.

    Roger asked, "Do you know that guy?"

    Simon glanced over. "Nope." Whilst scratching his nose. "Shall we go get this coffee?"

    Bad example of mine or not. Subtext is great. *grins*
     
  7. ChaosReigns
    Offline

    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    455
    Location:
    Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom
    if it were me, id say, he seems familiar from somewhere, probably school, there was 2,500 of us there (which is true, i was at a large secondary comprehensive school)
     
  8. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I laugh. "Hell, man, I don't even know me! And don't change the subject just because you're losing the argument."
     
  9. live2write
    Offline

    live2write Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    53
    I would ask "What guy???"
     
  10. Lorravan
    Offline

    Lorravan Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2013
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Francisco
    "Do you know this guy?"
    "He added me on facebook, but we've never actually talked,"
     
  11. ChickenFreak
    Offline

    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    Messages:
    8,993
    Likes Received:
    5,503
    "I barely know anybody in this town any more. Did I tell you that Joe, you know, the one from my senior class, moved to Pittsburgh? I don't know why--I read that Pittsburgh has the fewest sunny days of any other city in the country. It's not as if it's known for the food. Though I did read about some restaurant that puts the fries _in_ the sandwich..."
     
  12. SwampDog
    Offline

    SwampDog Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2013
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    108
    Location:
    Back in Blighty
    .
    That's a guy?
     
  13. idle
    Offline

    idle Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    one of the hearts of Europe
    I like this one. :)
     
  14. GingerCoffee
    Offline

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2013
    Messages:
    17,605
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    Ralph's side of the island.
    "Do you know this guy?"
    "I have no idea. Ever since the accident I ... sniff ... don't ... sniff ... recognize people." I burst into tears.


    Oh wait, the assignment was to be ambiguous. Never mind.
    I like ChickenFreak's too.
     

Share This Page