Thursday, September 22, 2016

Talkin' Heads #12

TITLE: Banished
GENRE: YA Fantacy

 Surprise crosses his bold features as I pop into visibility.

“Hey, aren’t you going to untie me?”

I turn back and consider him. I don’t hear any sounds of pursuit but I am well aware that I need to get my butt moving.

“Why should I involve myself? I’ve got enough trouble as it is.”

“Untie me and I’ll give you anything you ask for.”

“Why didn’t they put a rag in your mouth?”

“What? I assume because we are too far away for anyone to hear me. What kind of question is that anyway?”

I shrug and turn away.

“I don’t have time for this. I’m sure you did something that justifies getting tied up and tossed back here.” The alley isn’t a dead end but connects to another alley through a narrow passageway. There is a short wall about waist high so I almost didn’t notice. I grasp the wall and draw myself up. Perfect. I can see an alley I recognize from here…..

“You can’t leave me here!” The man yells at my back. “I’m Rugor! I really can get you anything.”

That stops me. I’d just killed Rugor. I turn back and glare at him.

“Prove it.” I demand.


“Prove you are the leader of the rebels. I’ve hear some of the stories. Prove to me you are who you say and I’ll untie you.” What is going on? If this is Rugor as he claims, then who did I kill?

“Not all of the stories are true, you know.”

“I don’t care. Pick one.”

“You are incredibly difficult, you know that? Fine, but get ready with whatever stunt you pulled earlier. We’ll have company in about twenty beats. Now, stab me in the heart.”

“What?!” Now it is my turn to gape.



  1. You've set up an intriguing situation, with good narrative momentum. The kicker at the end is very good. A few suggestions: I would state what the POV character is doing that makes Rugor initially cry out for attention (walks past him, etc). The line "Why didn't they put a rag in your mouth?" and the following lines are distracting and feel stilted. You might consider varying the structure of the characters' speech to differentiate their voices. Finally, I didn't understand Rugor's surprise at being challenged to prove who he is. If his face isn't well known, wouldn't he understand the demand to prove himself? On the other hand, if his face is a familiar one, wouldn't the POV character have recognized him right away and realize that he'd assassinated a twin?

  2. I really love the elements of surprise and the suspense going on. Nicely done!
    However, I'm not sure the dialogue is as well built as it could be. And that's why we're here.

    In the sentence, “Untie me and I’ll give you anything you ask for,” I would have liked to know how he says that. Is he trying to seduce her (I'm assuming the hero is a she, but could be wrong) or does he have something she would like? It would have helped to have some context and names (genders). At first, I thought the roles were reversed and read that completely differently. I finally got who was talking.

    I agree with DCB; their voices sort of could be interchanged. Adding some more personality to each person talking would help (I know it's tough; I need to work on this too). Think of the length of sentences. The hero seems to be more vocal, more female in the way the character talks. The other character (the one tied up) seems to be more male with shorter outbursts. However, this pattern does not stay consistent and that's what sort of blends their voices together. Both of them also seem spiteful while that could be only the character trait of one person. For example, the male could say something like, "Oh, come on. I'm valuable." And the female could say, "You need a rag in your mouth." Just suggestions here.
    So vary the tone, the length of sentences, the emotions need to come through more. Add some language oddities to really dsitinguish these characters and make them pop out of the page.

    I don't think you need these (“Why didn’t they put a rag in your mouth?”
    “What? I assume because we are too far away for anyone to hear me. What kind of question is that anyway?”
    I shrug and turn away.)
    It sounsd like these sentences are just here to tell us no one can hear them. This could be handled without the dialogue. I'd like to hear some kind of desperation in the voice of the man who is tied. He really seems desperate, but I dont feel it emotionally. Using short burst could render this, like "Hey, wait!"
    And I'm not sure how he is tied. Are his legs tied too? I would expect the hero to move faster out of the way. A little more context would help.

    Finally, I love the ending. It's a little twist that would really get me to read more. And supported by a stronger dialogue would be gripping.

    Good luck.

  3. Very intriguing. I was drawn in, but like DCB and Sussu have said, you could make it even better. I agree with their comments and they've given some good suggestions. I didn't necessarily get a female or male vibe, but I think my default goes to male, so it could be good to lead us more there as well.

    I was confused by "popped into visibility." At first, and I'm still not sure, thought that he/she were magic and had been invisible. Again, that could be my default sending me to magic and fantasy first. The first interchange seems sort of ho hum, not surprise at someone showing up, or at stumbling upon someone tied up. More urgency would be good to start his interchange.

    Why didn't he/she recognize him as Rugor? My mind went to shape shifter or something so he wasn't recognizable.

    I also wasn't sure what Rugor was referring to when he said, " get ready with whatever stunt you pulled earlier." This once again made me think he/she was invisible in the opening of this scene and would need to do so again to get away after stabbing him in the heart. Nice twist there.

    My curiosity is piqued. This sounds like a good read. Hope this helps.

  4. It was difficult for me to understand at the beginning without the lead in, but it sounded good overall. I agree with the above comments and will add I loved the end bit.

    A couple of nitpicks
    ….. should just be a single period. And you can cut the 'from here' as that's obvious.
    "Now it is my turn to gape." Kills the buildup

  5. Hello, I'm here to introduce someone to you all, his name is Dr.Ekpen Temple a spell caster that help me restored my broken relationship, I saw an article on the Internet someone talking about him how he help her in her relationship, today I'm a beneficial of that article, so that is why I'm also talking about how he has helped me so that someone out there that is facing the same challenge can also contact him for help. Here is DR EKPEN TEMPLE contact info: ( or on Whatsapp number 2347050270218.