Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Drop the Needle: HIGH EMOTION #16

TITLE: Pro Bono
GENRE: Mystery

The protagonist, Quindley, is short-listed for a major network promotion. She has flown to Atlanta for her big interview, but not with this guy.

“You look better than your mug shot,” the guy said, holding back a burp.

“Excuse me?” I said.

“Eight-by-ten glossies. You know, head shots. Promo pics.” He waved his arm around the room pointing at poster-sized photos of the network's top journalists and their cavalcade of synthetic talent--the entertainment celebrities. The guy looked exactly like his picture--a genuine low life man-about-town.

“I call them glamour shots.”

“Chick-speak.” He chugged the last gulp of Gatorade. “You've got to know you're hot. Am I right? I'm always right.”

“How nice for you. Why are you here, exactly? Did you escape the tour group?”

“Mind if I touch your hair. I'm a hair guy.” He made a mock pucker.


“This is part of your call-back interview, baby.”

“Then I'm out of here.” I scooped my purse.

“Oh, you're sh*****' me. Sit down. Oops, excuse my French. You don't mind a little swearing do you?”

He couldn't know I prided myself on an extensive and versatile curse word vocabulary. But this knot-head was exhausting my patience. If he was KNE's idea of a call-back, I'd made a huge mistake bugging out on my work at Eagle 7.

I said, “In my experience, men with a limited vocabulary have other short-comings, as well.”

“Don't go getting all pageant queen on me. Come over and give daddy a little--”

I slammed both hands on the table. “Okay, Jack--"”

“Wynn. As in winner.”

“Look, Winnie. I don't know what your game is. Tell your boss I failed the test.”

“That was just the practical. You still have to pass an oral exam.”


  1. While I love, love, love your MC and your voice in this excerpt, I don't know if this is really showcasing "high emotion." Yes, I can feel her irritation and frustration; however, there's nothing exceedingly strong about the emotions here. But that may have been what you were going for.

    Anyway, like I said, your MC and your voice were what really gripped me. I'd read more if I had more to read!

  2. I agree - this wasn't a high emotion scene. However, it was extreemly well written and interesting. I think you got the sense of irritation across well, which I think was what you were going for. I'd read on if I could.

  3. I like it! Smart, fast dialog, doesn't need a lot of attributes - nice pace.

  4. Seriously? I loved the last line. Hilarious.

    Great dialog. I can hear it unfold in my head. Yeah, maybe it's not uber High Emotion, but who cares? I loved it.

  5. I enjoyed the scene, but I think if you were going for high emotion, she would have let loose with a string of her well-cultivated curse vocabulary.

    The one thing I had a problem with was the believability of the beginning. The guy is such an obvious jerk, he would never had held in that burp. Nor would he have excused himself afterward.

  6. Hmm...don't get mystery from the voice so much...seems like she should be focused more on something mysterious. Maybe this is pre-crime?
    Anyways, fun piece. Curious what her head shot looked like. I wanted a few more visual cues in there, let me see the scene.
    Agree with the other poster...let him burp!

  7. I thought the characterization was spot on. I could se these two people clearly. And while the emotion isn't high and is only one-sided, I did feel her anger and disbelief of the situation. Nicely done!

  8. I agree with the others. I really loved the voice. Excellent dialog. Not a lot of high emotion, but still a great passage.