Monday, January 28, 2013

Talkin' Heads #20

TITLE: Return of the Mirage
GENRE: Y/A Contemporary Mystery/romance

Race car drivers Jessica and Taylor are discussing the race track they'll be competing on this coming weekend on the night before practice begins. Jess is fighting a case of nerves as well as her growing attraction to Taylor:

“Look, I’ve driven the Speedway a couple-three times.” Taylor leans closer, his face inches from mine. “I think I still remember the groove. I could walk it with you tomorrow, after the drivers’ meeting. Show you what to watch out for.”

I am so not hearing this. “Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why offer to help me? Aren’t you afraid…”

“That I’ll be giving you an edge? That you’ll be faster than me on Sunday? Not gonna happen, Briggs.”

“It’s not that impossible.” I duck my head, my cheeks burning. He makes it sound like I don't even have a prayer of even qualifying for the 300. “I beat you at Nationals, remember?”

“This is a different track, a different race. I know how you drive now, Briggs. You won’t catch me off guard this time.”

I stir my soda with the straw. “So why are you offering to help me? If you’re so sure you’re gonna win…why give me an edge?”

“Walking you round the track won’t give you that big an edge. You still have to learn the groove from behind the wheel, at speed. Besides…” His chair creaks as he scoots closer. “I don’t mind a challenge. If you drive like you did at Nationals…” He rests a hand on my arm. “It’s gonna be an interesting race.”


  1. This was solid! It flows well and I enjoyed it. Nice work.

  2. This reads really well to me. I'm assuming by his "couple-three times" remark that he's Southern. If not, it won't sound right. Also, in the 6th paragraph, she uses "even" twice in one sentence. Other than that, it's great.

  3. I'm hooked. Flowed well, got a good sense of the characters, and the specialized track lingo felt very natural, pulled me into that world. Good work!

  4. Strong exchange, comfortable and easy to follow. I get an idea of the character's personalities and their situation.

    Keep it up.

  5. I really like the natural flow of this dialogue, the clipped speech, like people really talk. There's a palpable tension, too, between them.

    Small thing, you don't need the ellipses if you actually interrupt the dialogue to do make a gesture.

    I'd read more and I'm not even into romance novels. :-)

  6. As everyone else said, great work. You really captured how people actually talk. The little details, like that expression "couple-three times" (I've heard that in the Midwest, so I think it's more rural than exclusively Southern), and the fact that Taylor calls Jessica by her last name, give it an extra authenticity.

    I was curious how old Jess and Taylor are. This is labeled YA, and they sound like they could be teens, so no problem there; I just didn't realize race car drivers started so young.

  7. Oh, I'm definitely interested! Jessica and Taylor sound like they're in for one snappy ride. :)

    It was great!