Monday, January 28, 2013

Talkin' Heads #6

TITLE: Conversation Redux
GENRE: Fiction

Preface: The length of my showers depend on how good the idea is.

Sometime later or earlier: The waitress, came up to me, asked me how things were.

I said: “Just fine!”

She said: “Good! Grab me if you need anything.”

I replied: “How about dinner?” I startled her. Amongst all the propositions, this one threw her for a loop.

She said: Nothing.

Persistence: “Did I scare you?”

Counter Persistence: “No, no not all.” People cheered for Oregon on the television Screens. “I just, I um, I don’t do smokers.”

Defense: “Occasionally, that’s all.

Her belief: She didn’t.

Justification: “Even if I were a legitimate smoker, we all got our demons.”

Her belief: Questionable.

Persistence: “Some are bigger for others.”

Counter Persistence: “Yours are not?”

Wit: “On contrary, quite small.”

Counter Wit: “Doubt it.”

Bartender/Manager called out for ‘Yesmin’

I responded: “I swear to it. Demons can take over somebody. You haven’t been taken over?”

She responded: “No.”

Reflex: “Lucky!” Counter-Reflex: “Self-Control.” I said: Nothing.

Her intrigue: “You haven’t been taken over?”

Revitalized: “I told you already, my demons are small.”

Wisdom: “Small in large numbers is dangerous.

Counter Wisdom: “My demons are not that smart.”


  1. I'm not sure where to start since this left me thoroughly confused.

    I don't mean I'm confused as to what's happening - a guy's at a restaurant hitting on the waitress.

    The confusion lies in individual lines where I lost track of who was talking, talking points where demons suddenly become a part of the conversation, and the ongoing pattern of "descriptive noun," "colon," "dialogue."

    Using unique ways of breaking up the conversation can provide a welcome break for the reader. However, in this particular example, I feel the uniqueness wears thin and becomes distracting from the heart of your conversation.

  2. I was lost the first time around. I did get what you were doing on the second reading, and thought it was an interesting style, but I still didn't get the gist of the conversation. Are we talking real demons or metaphorical? Is the MC male or female? I thought female, the poster before me thought male.

    Maybe I'm just a lazy reader, but I don't want to work this hard to enjoy your story.

  3. I also found myself confused. I get what's going on, but I kept losing track of the speaker and it seems to me that the technique was calling attention to itself. I'm all for experimentation in writing, but it probably needs to feel more natural. Maybe try to find a way to make this read more smoothly.

  4. I found the experimental presentation of this to be confusing but, worse, distancing. Dialogue should make the character come alive but in this fashion I just found myself too aware of the writer and it left me on the outside of the scene.