Thursday, January 14, 2016

Talkin' Heads #21

TITLE: The Dark Side
GENRE: YA - Thriller

Lukas is visiting his friend Jimmy whose working at an old Resort in cottage country. They've just entered Jimmy's room soon after Jimmy joked about robbing his boss.

“You're not serious, Jimmy, are you?”

“Why not?”

Lukas turned to find Jimmy making a line across the floor with his dirty clothes. He had blue and black clothes on his side, and white T-shirts on Lukas’s side.

“Come to the dark side, Lukas,” Jimmy moaned.

Lukas shook his head. “Not funny. You want to break the law.”

Jimmy held up two fingers half an inch apart. “A little bit.”

“You can’t break the law just a little bit.”

“Of course you can, but I meant it was a little bit funny. C’mon lighten up.” Jimmy shoved Lukas’s shoulder with his elbow.

Lukas shoved back harder. “You’re a jerk.”

“And yet your best friend. What poor choices you make. C’mon. What’s one more?”

Jimmy grinned, but Lukas didn’t share it this time.

“Cuz nothing else risked jail time.”

Jimmy flopped down on the couch. “I just want to steal what I’m owed. Mr. Peters has four weeks of my pay.” He linked his hands behind his head and crossed his feet on the coffee table.

“So when he finally pays you, what are you going to say? ‘That’s alright, Mr. Peters, sir, I already got it?’ Are you an idiot?”

Jimmy laughed. “Okay, I’ll just grab a dollar, or a paperclip or something.”


“Just to see if I can do it. You don’t even have to come in. Just stand watch.”

Lukas rolled his eyes. “Yeah, I’ll just aid and abet. I’m sure that’s not illegal.”


  1. I like this dialogue. It seems to flow naturally between two friends. The tags are appropriate. I don't know that it moves the plot along, since Jimmy was joking about robbing his boss and at the end of the dialogue, we're left wondering if he will go through with it. Overall though, I found this natural, not stiff and the characters spoke appropriately for their seeming ages.

  2. Intriguing scene that could benefit from shorter, snappier dialogue to really bring out the tension between these two.

    Here's what I mean:

    Lukas shoved back harder. “You’re a jerk.”

    Think about how people REALLY talk:

    Lukas shoved back harder. “Jerk.”

    Trim back some other unnecessary words that slow the pace: Are you? Just. Even.

    “Yeah, I’ll just aid and abet. I’m sure that’s not illegal.” could become "Yeah, cause aiding and abetting isn't illegal."

    I like Jimmy's voice a lot, and I'm sure he's going to get Luckas into all kinds of trouble. Nice work.

    Best of luck!

  3. The dialogue is mostly working very well because it captures these two people and still makes them sound different from each other. I agree with Jenny above that it could be a bit tighter. My biggest suggestion is to clarify the dollar and paper clip comment because I'm not sure I get the joke. (But if everyone else does, it might just be me.) Of course, I really hope that Jimmy and Luckas go through with the robbery, which says a lot of good things about this scene.

  4. I second Jenny's comment, but otherwise this dialogue stands pretty well- just make it snappier in a couple places. Another example would be instead of "Not Funny. You want to break the law." you could say "Breaking the law is funny, right." I think you can tweak the voice a bit for Jimmy by making him sound more reasonable and convincing in his plan: "I'd only steal what I'm owed." And I wouldn't have him "moan," have him take on a Darth Vader voice, since that's the reference.
    I look forward to finding out what happens!