Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Talkin' Heads -- Call for Submissions

It's been a while since we've had a Talkin' Heads round.  That, and I feel like dialogue is something we all need to be continually tweaking.  It's too easy to write dorky or unbelievable or not-true-to-character dialogue -- easier, perhaps, than we'd care to admit.

So here are the rules:
  • This critique round is for DIALOGUE-RICH PASSES ONLY.  As in, there should be ONLY A VERY LITTLE EXPOSITION, IF ANY.  (Beats and tags don't count as exposition.)
  • Submit a brief (1 to 2 sentences) lead-in, followed by your up-to-250-word excerpt.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  If your bit of dialogue is made up of fewer than 250 words, DON'T SEND MORE.  This exercise is about focusing on the believability and effectiveness of dialogue.  
  • All genres except erotica and erotic romance are welcomed.
  • Agented and unagented authors may submit.  (Just, if you're agented, make sure your agent doesn't mind.  Most won't.)
  • Please submit using THE WEB FORM.
  • The submission window will be open from 1 pm EST TODAY until 1pm EST TOMORROW, or until 50 entries have been received, whichever comes first. 
  • Entries will post on Monday, January 28, for public critique.
  • Please format as below (including italics):
Drake has just proposed to Philemonia, not realizing that his words would unleash the ancient curse upon her--the uncontrollable urge to scalp any man who dares suggest marriage.

Drake backed away, wide-eyed.  "All I said was--"

"Your hair.  I need it."

"My--is this a joke?"

Philemonia reached for her dagger.  "I have to do this."

"Do what?" Drake hit the wall behind him and realized he was trapped.

"It's...not personal."  Philemonia's eyes glazed.  "It's...I need your hair."

"Look, if you don't like the ring, I'll take it back."

"I love the ring."

She'd snapped.  Clearly.  "Keep it, then. Just...put the dagger down."

"Don't fight this."  Philemonia raised the dagger.  "You want it as much as I do."


Questions below.  :-)


  1. I forgot to include the lead in. My excerpt is from the beginning of my novel, but is there a way I can still submit the lead in?

  2. Alt-2! Oh well -- maybe I'll get in after all. (Either way, thanks for doing this! It's always helpful to see the entries and critiques.)

  3. Rats, missed it, and this sounds like fun!

    Why has nobody commented on how absolutely hilarious that example is? It's hysterical.

    And makes me think: I'd love to see a critique round where we submit what we think are humorous passages, and get feedback on whether they're actually funny or not. Have you done that before?