Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Drop the Needle: HIGH EMOTION #24

GENRE: Fantasy mystery

Dr. Jamie Grey is a coroner for the Mythological Victims Unit, and she works with two detectives: Angel Armatrudo and Michael Spain. Spain gets jealous when he finds Dr. Grey and Angel discussing a case, and he reveals that he knows a secret she has kept hidden by calling her by her late husband's real name.

"Michael." I held up my hands and spoke softly. "The three of us are colleagues. You've helped me on this case, and I appreciate it. All three of us have helped each other on numerous cases in the past few years that we've worked together. It's just work."

Spain slammed his hand on the desk. "It's just work. It's just work, Dr. Glaisne. Just work. And I'm nothing but a joke to you." He knocked some of the papers off my desk and spun out of my office.

Armatrudo stared at the back of the other detective before turning to me. "Bones, about what he said, I'm sorry. I-"

"Which one of you investigated my past?"

He dropped his head. "I did three years ago when you first joined. I never told Michael."

"How did he find out?"

"I didn't know he had until just now." At least Armatrudo had the decency to look ashamed.

I ran out of my office and blocked Michael's path. "I admit. I kept a dangerous secret from you, but that doesn't explain you going crazy."

"I knew about your secret. You were clever with changing the date of your husband's death, and I understand why you did it. I was hoping..." Michael trailed off, and I waited for him to continue. "I hoped you would eventually see that I'm good for you."


  1. Spain's physicality is good, but I'm not feeling much tension. Perhaps a little more reaction from Jamie? (Is Glaisne her married name?)
    Also, be careful with using the names "Angel" and "Bones" in a coroner/forensic/mythological detective setting; this seems very David Boreanaz inspired.

  2. Part of this could be that I'm jumping into the middle of a scene after the secret's been revealed, so I want to know what that secret is, but part of me didn't think the dialogue was too believable when they keep referring to it as the secret in the last couple paragraphs.

    Also, once people know what something is, it's not exactly a secret anymore.

    Instead of saying, "I kept a dangerous secret from you, but that doesn't explain you going crazy," it could be, "I'm sorry I kept it a secret, but that doesn't explain you going crazy." Or instead of, "I knew about your secret," try, "I knew about it."

    I also agree with watching the Angel/Bones references.

  3. Thanks for the suggestions. Those are good.

    Who's David Boreanaz? Bones is an old term used for doctors, so I thought I might get some comments regarding Star Trek, but I'm completely missing the Angel thing.

  4. David Boreanaz played a vampire named Angel in both the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel tv series. Now he's in a crime/mystery drama as an FBI agent working with a forensic anthropologist nicknamed Bones to solves murders.

  5. I found Spain's anger believable and got the sense that Grey is trying to remain in control of her emotions. I did notice a few nit-picky things:
    Some of your verb choices are a bit jarring. Ex. Spain 'spun' and Armatrudo's head 'dropping'. They create some unintentionally comical visuals. Also, Spain had already left the room, so Armatrudo couldn't have stared at his back. And it feels like Grey intercepts Spain too soon, unless he left the office, but stopped in the hall?
    Hope my comments are helpful. :)

  6. Hi - I can feel some tension here, but I'd like to see a little more of it displayed. I think Michael showed the most, but I'd think Bones would be the more upset because of the leak. I wonder why she just assumes the both know it - she asks Angel which one investigated her, but Michael is the one that called her by her other name. Just confused me a bit there.

    I didn't see the Bones/Angel thing as a problem, because I realize Bones is a pretty common nickname, and I don't keep up with a lot of tv.

    Overall, it wasn't bad - but you could up it a little, I think, without much effort.

  7. I thought the emotion came through pretty well. Armatrudo felt the most real to me and was the most believable. There were some clunky spots that have already been mentioned.

    It was the last two pargs. that stood out to me. The dialogue isn't smooth and doesn't seem natural. It seemed forced. And I thought the change in Spain's emotion came too abruptly. Maybe add another beat or two before the anger subsides?