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MILLLICENT G. DILLON, represented by Harold Ober Associates, is the world’s expert on authors Jane and Paul Bowles. She has won five O. Henry Awards and been nominated for the PEN/Faulkner. I worked with Dillon on her memoir, The Absolute Elsewhere, in which she describes in luminous prose her private meeting with Albert Einstein to discuss the ethics of the atomic bomb. Read more. . .

SASHA TROYAN is a Professor of English at Montclair University and author of the critically-acclaimed novels Angels in the Morning and The Forgotten Island, both Booksense Selections, beautiful stories based upon her childhood in France. I worked with Troyan to develop her new novels, Marriage A Trois and Semester. Read more. . .

LUCIA ORTH is the author of the debut novel, Baby Jesus Pawn Shop, which received critical acclaim from Publisher’s Weekly, NPR, Booklist, Library Journal and Small Press Reviews. I have edited a number of essays and articles for Orth. Read more. . .

BHAICHAND PATEL, retired after an illustrious career with the United Nations, is now a journalist based out of New Dehli and Bombay, an expert on Bollywood, and author of three non-fiction books published by Penguin. I edited Patel’s best-selling debut novel, Mothers, Lovers, and Other Strangers, published by Pan Macmillan. Read more. . .

SCOTT WILBANKS, represented by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency, is the author of the debut novel, The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster, published by Sourcebooks in August, 2015. I’m working with Wilbanks on his sophomore novel, Easy Pickens, the story of the world’s only medically-diagnosed case of chronic naiveté. Read more. . .

SCOTT WARRENDER is a professional musician and Annie Award-nominated lyricist specializing in musical theater. I work with Warrender regularly on his short stories and debut novel, Putaway. Read more. . .

M. TERRY GREEN enjoys a successful self-publishing career with multiple sci-fi/fantasy series set in the Multiverse, based upon her expertise in anthropology and technology. I worked with Green to develop a new speculative fiction series. Read more. . .

DARREN D. BEYER is an ex-NASA experiment engineer who has worked on every Space Shuttle orbiter but Challenger. In his sci-fi Anghazi Series, Beyer uses his scientific expertise to create a galaxy in which “space bridges” allow interstellar travel based upon the latest in real theoretical physics. Read more. . .

ANIA VESENNY, represented by Beverly Slopen Literary Agency, is a recipient of the Evelyn Sullivan Gilbertson Award for Emerging Artist in Literature and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. I edited Vesenny’s debut novel, Swearing in Russian at the Northern Lights, and her second novel, Sandara. Read more. . .

STUART WAKEFIELD is the #1 Kindle Best Selling author of Body of Water, the first novel in his Orcadian Trilogy. Body of Water was 1 of 10 books long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize. I edited Wakefield’s second novel, Memory of Water, and look forward to editing the final novel of his Orcadian Trilogy, Spirit of Water. Read more. . .

GERALDINE EVANS is a best-selling British author. Her historical novel, Reluctant Queen, is a Category No 1 Best Seller on Amazon UK. I edited Death Dues, #11 in Evans’ fifteen popular Rafferty and Llewellyn cozy police procedurals, which received a glowing review from the Midwest Book Review. Read more. . .

JUDY LEE DUNN is an award-winning marketing blogger. I am working with Dunn to develop and line edit her memoir of reconciling liberal activism with her emotional difficulty accepting the lesbianism of her beloved daughter, Tonight Show comedienne Kellye Rowland. Read more. . .

LISA MERCADO-FERNANDEZ writes literary novels of love, loss, and friendship set in the small coastal towns of New England. I edited Mercado-Fernandez’ debut novel The Shoebox and second novel The Eighth Summer. Read more. . .

JEFF RUSSELL is the author of the debut novel, The Rules of Love and Law, based upon Jeff’s abiding passions for legal history and justice. Read more. . .

LEN JOY is the author of the debut novel, American Past Time. I worked with Len to develop his novel from its core: a short story about the self-destructive ambitions of a Minor League baseball star. Read more. . .

ALEX KENDZIORSKI is an American physician working in South Africa on community health education and wildlife conservation. I edited Kendziorski’s debut novel Wait a Season for Their Names about the endangered African painted wolf, for which he is donating the profits to wildlife conservation. Read more. . .

ALEXANDRA GODFREY blogs for the New England Journal of Medicine. I work with Godfrey on her short fiction and narrative nonfiction, including a profile of the doctor who helped save her son’s life, “Mending Broken Hearts.” Read more. . .

In addition, I work with scores of aspiring writers in their apprenticeship to this wonderful literary art and craft.

  • By Victoria Mixon

    1. “Stand right there and break the wind.”
    2. “He was waving his arms and ejaculating at the top of his lungs.”
    3. “I have the same problem when my pants get hot.”
    4. “What a sweet kitten. So delicious!”
    5. “You’re not supposed to spread them that far apart.”
    6. “Tie it off with that thong.”
    7. “All I want is to be laid out in the sun.”
    8. “Never touch another man’s gun, son. It might go off.”
    9. “I didn’t say you could ride it all night.”
    10. “Louise insisted on the leather straps.”
    11. “It always heats up when Frank does it.”
    12. “Show me where the pillow goes.”
    13. “If you put it way up there, how are we going to answer it?”
    14. “Great. Now you’ve worn it out.”
    15. “I wouldn’t lick anything that color.”
    16. “Don’t wave that thing at me.”
    17. “You think you’re so smart, you try to get it off.”
    18. “If it came with instructions, don’t you think I’d have said so?”
    19. “Wouldn’t it be safer to do it with a glove?”
    20. “Are you supposed to smell like that?”
    21. “At least I think he said brick.”
    22. “Wait until the Headmaster is erect and then applaud.”—from Marisa Birns



    “The freshest and most relevant
    advice you’ll find.”

    —Helen Gallagher, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

    The Art & Craft of Writing Fiction

    The Art & Craft of Writing Stories




21 Responses to “21+ Things Your Characters Should Never Say”

  1. That’s just flat out hilarious. I think #15 is my favourite.

  2. Kay Bigelow said on

    I love this collection. Each one elicited a smile if not a laugh. Thanks for sharing. – Kay

  3. I loved this. Absolutely hilarious! At least six of them had me hysterical with laughter, thank you for that!

    I’m also determined to have at least one of my characters say #5 at least once.

  4. So funny! All good, though the image that #2 brought had me spit out my tea.

    I worked at a school once and the staff/students were being told how to behave at a Commencement ceremony. The dean advised us to wait until the headmaster was on his feet before we greeted him.

    This is what the dean said. “Wait until Headmaster __ is erect and then applaud.

  5. Victoria said on

    Marisa, that is too damn hiliarious. I’m adding it to the list.

  6. Victoria said on

    Listen—I’m so glad you guys are laughing! I started making these up last night when I was really tired and kind of punchy and then changed my mind this morning when I read over them again. But I showed them to my husband, and he said he thought they were funny, so I gambled on your senses of humor.

    You guys TOTALLY are not letting me down!

  7. Hehehe!!!! I’m very happy that my characters have never uttered any of these. If they had, I’d have to hit them over the head with a frying pan. 🙂

  8. Then again, there are probably writers of erotica who’d be perfectly fine with some of these!

  9. Thanks for the morning giggles!

  10. LOL> you made my day, thank you so much!

  11. Victoria said on

    Yes, Terry, I’ve already heard on Twitter from someone who pointed out which one their characters might use. But, you know, I don’t work in erotica, so that’s all wasted on me.

  12. Victoria – thats brilliant. Really funny. I love your photo at the top of your page. It’s like a night time version of mine.. complete with kitty, altho I see you have given yours a cushion. I will be back!

  13. Victoria said on

    Barbara, that kitty sleeps on a couple of folded quilts, leaning ever-so-subltely on the wooden box on the desk until he’s pushed it way over and is sleeping mostly on the desk, which is where he intended to be anyway. Then his brother comes up and lies down on his head.

    This is my writing life.

  14. Victoria said on

    Okay, you witty people. Thank you for laughing! I have written an appalling list for you today, and I hope I haven’t just chased you all away.

  15. Not going to lie, this list makes me want to write a short story just for fun to see how many these I can incorporate.

  16. Victoria said on

    Allisyn, do it and I’ll post it.

  17. […] Things Your Characters Should Never Say by Victoria Mixon. This one is good for a laugh. […]

  18. Hahaha, rock on! 😀

  19. Ha ha! Wonderful list. It does feel a bit more like a challenge than a warning though! 😉

  20. This is very funny. I bet #7 happens more than you think. And I agree with India about #15.

  21. I’m sorry I was eating nuts while reading this…I nearly choked it was so funny. Thanks for sharing this.