On this blog every Tuesday and Friday I write about story techniques, structure, and/or publishing. Comments and questions are welcome. I also have a personal blog, Amy Deardon, on which I write about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy.

I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research.

My book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story, is now available in both hard-copy and e-book formats. I also coach would-be novelists and screenwriters to develop their story. YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Friday, August 31, 2012

How to Select a Phone Number for Your Story

When I was in tenth grade two kids in my class, Peter and Jim, once bragged they'd made prank telephone calls the previous night. They laughed recounting adventures. "The best one was that woman screaming when Pete said, 'Lady, did you know your phone number spells BAT SH*T?' "

Ah yes, youth. Imagine what a nightmare it would be if your phone number was published in a novel or movie. I'm still remembering an 80s song I heard with the refrain: Jenny, don't lose my number: 867 5309.

This is why the phone company decided to set aside a group of phone numbers just for aspiring novelists and screenwriters. Using these numbers, you can feel safe that you won't unwittingly torment innocent people and force them to change phone numbers.

They decided that 555 was a good prefix for these numbers (Easy as Pi by Jamie Buchan) because no major place names in the USA begin with a combination of J, K, and L (the letters linked with the 5 on the phone keyboard). Of course there is one widely used 555 number: 555 1212, the information number, that I also use when calling Pizza Hut because I don't think it's any of their business to keep my phone number on file. (Of course they can get it anyway with identification software, but oh well). Another 555 phone number, 555 2368, will get you the Ghostbusters, Jim Rockford of The Rockford Files, and Jaime Sommers from the Bionic Woman.

But I digress. To cut to the chase, these *safe* numbers for fiction writers are the phone numbers 555-0100 through 555-0199. Use them!

I hope today's blog gives you a moment's smile -- I thought this was funny, although also an important point if you DO need a phone number. Dial carefully :-)

Reference: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/85558http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/85558

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