[how i generally react to even the sagest advice offered me about writing as craft]
Topic II – As Much as any Writer, Characters Need a Reason for Being
Lesson A: Waitresses
The sage says, “You can’t have a waitress simply walk into your story, take an order, then walk out. She has to be there for a reason. Otherwise, why bother writing her in?”
Kim fishes a Camel from Tim’s pack and lights it. “We’ve been waiting for hours. What’s so important we had to come to a diner? I could have cooked.”
“Just give it a minute more.” Tim smiles wanly and stares towards the door to the kitchen, fairly willing it to swing open at any moment. His head throbs. He rubs his temple but smiles at Kim.
“Look!” Kim crushes out her cigarette. “That pizza place across the street seems nice. See the people walking out? They look contented. Full. Some even have leftovers. Jesus! That’s it. I’m going across the street.”
Kim knifes her hand at Tim’s face and stands. “This is why,” she says, “this is why we never go out. This… this-right-fucking-here.” She lights another cigarette and blows smoke in his face as she passes. She swings the front door open, and says (more to room than to Tim), “Leave it to you to pick the one goddamn place in the city without a single fucking waitress.”
The doors swings shut and Tim’s stomach growls miserably. He smiles in the empty diner and wishes for a waitress.