Thursday, September 22, 2016

Talkin' Heads #1

TITLE: Rise of Fae
GENRE: NA Fantasy Romance

The enemy queen to the kingdom of Alysies has summoned her son to assign him a brutal task.


Queen Vatrice eyed Prince Samual, frowning at his sloppy attire. “You’ve been invited to a coming out ball.”

Samual narrowed his eyes. “You summoned me from my bed to tell me this? Mother, you must be joking.” Anger and disbelief dripped from his words.

“In Alysies.”

Samual threw out his arms. “Okay. And?”

Vatrice smiled, seeming to enjoy drawing it out. “It’s for Lady Faelyn.”

Samual dropped his arms and studied his mother. “Princess Faelyn? She can’t be almost eighteen.”

“She’s no princess. She has some wealth, to be sure, but aside from, she’s simply an oddity. A fae freak.”

“Then why go?” Samual’s expression turned bored again.

“You’re close in age. She’s only one year your junior. I want you to make friends with her.” Samual grimaced. “Don't make that face. Aside from those freak ears, she's rumored to be very beautiful." Vatrice rubbed her hand down her arm and touched her face. "With flawless skin, smooth golden hair, and eyes as green as emeralds. Plus all those other features you tend to favor with your… diversions." Samual's grimace remained and Vatrice frowned. Her voice turned flat. "Discover what you can about her. Find out if there’s any chance she may inherit the throne.” She stood. “Then I want you to kill her father.”


  1. The dialog is very readable. I really hear Samual's irritation and bewilderment. The surprising last line is great. My suggestion is to consider giving it its own paragraph to add visual impact.

  2. For the most part, the dialog seems natural. There were a couple of places where you might add or subtract. I think you can cut "Mother, you must be joking." I think it's a touch more than you need with his eyes narrowing, the question, and the dripping anger. And maybe you don't need the dripping, even. His anger and disbelief are sort of implied anyway.

    I'd add to "Then why go?" to make it something like, "Then why should I go?" unless Vatrice is also going.

    Maybe break up that last paragraph of dialog for Vatrice. You could consider expanding Samual's reactions and giving them their own paragraph.

    The thing that stood out to me a little bit and pulled me slightly from the narrative was that the beats are all about exaggerated expressions and body movements. She frowns, he narrows, he throws out his arms, she smiles, he drops his arms, his expression is bored, he grimaces, she rubs her arm, she frowns, she stands... maybe try giving them something to do that doesn't seem like they're pantomiming so much. Like... maybe she has a breakfast there and he's helping himself to juice or something. Then he can stop pouring halfway through when he's surprised Faelyn is coming out or set the carafe down noisily when he's irritated with Vatrice. When he's bored, maybe have him actually get distracted by something instead of just changing his expression to bored.

    In other words, there's not much of the setting here (and I know it's a very short part and you've probably got setting on either end--that's how it goes with these excerpts). It's a bit of a "white" room with them just talking and moving.

    Quite the task she's tacked on at the end there! I'm interested to see how he reacts and what he'll end up doing in Alysies. I'm thinking Samual and Faelyn develop a relationship? Enemies-to-lovers is my absolute favorite romance trope! (Though if it's going a different direction, I'm sure it's good, all the same.)

  3. I thought hlbrixley, above, offered some good advice. All I would add is instead of saying 'Anger and disbelief dripped from his words' and "Samual's expression turned bored again' you might show his anger and/or boredom with an action, or even cut the tags.

    And two words stood out to me. "Plus" and 'freak.' Both felt too modern and a bit childish. Seems the queen would use a more derogatory word that denotes the Fae as a people, rather than 'freak' which is more an individual thing, unless she's a freak even among the fae.

    And I wondered about the last two lines. Does she want Samual to kill Faelynn's father no matter what, which is how it reads, or only if Faelynn will inherit the throne, which is what it seems she's implying?

    Otherwise, it read well. The Queen's power is evident, her hatred comes across well, and it's clear there is a plot afoot!

  4. I agree with the comments above, but I would keep the arm motions. Also, you don't the "Samual grimaced" in the last paragraph, since the queen's dialog implies it.

    The sentence "Anger and disbelief dripped from his words." doesn't seem to add anything. You might substitute something that involves the physical setting, such as stepping closer to the queen, or farther away, or tapping his foot.

    The dialog overall sounds good. Obviously, it advances the plot.

  5. It does get better towards the end. I agree with many of the comments above. I'm not into fly-on-the-wall as much as close-3rd person as I find it more distant, but I did wonder if the Prince had been sleeping or entertaining maidens :) Just be careful the his emotional responses are consistent if he switches so quickly.

  6. I think the dialogue is realistic and the last line is great. But I think there is some telling of things that are better shown. For example, why is his attire sloppy in the first sentence? And I think it's better to show characters' emotions through action or thoughts rather than by naming the emotion. I also didn't really understand the action when Vatrice ran her hand down her arm and then touched her face. If she's run her hand down her arm, it didn't seem natural to me that she'd touch her face next.

  7. Hlbrixley and Barbara both had good points. I like this piece and the climatic end there. :)

    My only other nitpick would be is a missing word from "to be sure, but aside from," -- aside from what?

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