Thursday, November 11, 2010

How To Be Awesome.

If you want to know about writing, the best thing to do is see it done well.  This is a short dialog exchange from "True Grit" by Charles Portis, in which the narrator, 14 year-old Mattie Ross, is looking to recruit a Federal marshal to pursue the man who killed her father:

"Who is the best marshal they have?"

The sheriff thought on it for a minute. He said, "I would have to weigh that proposition.  There is near about two hundred of them.  I reckon William Waters is the best tracker.  He is half-breed Comanche and it is something to see, watching him cut for sign.  The meanest one is Rooster Cogburn.  He is a pitiless man, double-tough, and fear don't enter into his thinking.  He loves to pull a cork.  Now, L. T. Quinn, he brings his prisoners in alive.  He may let one get by now and then but he believes even the worst of men is entitled to a fair shake.  Also the court does not pay any fees for dead men.  Quinn is also a good peace officer and a lay preacher to boot.  He will not plant evidence or abuse a prisoner.  He is straight as a string. Yes, I will say Quinn is about the best they have."

I said, "Where can I find this Rooster?"

I'd explain everything that's right about this for you, but I am pretty sure it's self-explanatory.

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