by Matt Sinclair
There's a French term that appeals to me: L'esprit de l'escalier. Literally, it means "the wit of the staircase," and in practical language it means thinking of the perfect response too late.
Let's face it, we've all done it, whether there was a staircase involved or not. In fact, the perfect response often hits me in the bathroom, which seems appropos.
I'm not sure, but such instances may in part be why I became a writer. I like having the perfect word to say, le mot juste to keep that little French thing going. But it doesn't always happen immediately.
As writers, we need to have an ear for what our characters are saying, even if they've already walked through the exit on a scene. The key: know your characters. Even when they don't know what to say, they're telling you something.
Good thing we can revise, huh?