Thursday, September 22, 2016

Talkin' Heads #15

TITLE: Getting to Know You
GENRE: MG Contemporary

Toby and Melissa have just recently met and are getting to know one another.

            “Where are you from?” He’d asked her this question at least five times now, but she had refused to tell him.

            “Nowhere.”

            “Ah, come on,” he insisted.

            “It’s not important.”

            “I want to know.”

            “What is that irritating sound?” She looked around. “Oh, right, it’s you.” She rolled her eyes and slapped her bare feet onto the dashboard.

            “So?” he prodded.

            “Oh, my God, do you ever quit?”     

            “Tell me.”

            She stared at him. “A town you’ve never heard of.”

            “I might surprise you,” Toby said.

            She ignored him by leaning her head back and closing her eyes.

            “Well?” he said.         

            “I’m from a place called Waukegan,” she said with a huff.

            “In Illinois?”

            Mel smirked. “What do you have? A GPS chip in your head?”

            “Nah. I just like geography.” He looked over at her. “So . . . how did you get all the way out here?”

            “Hitch-hiked.”

            “That’s really dangerous!”

            She snorted. “Ya think?”

            “Did you run away from home?”

            “No.” She sighed. Then said, “Yes.”

            “What do you mean?”

            “My mom wanted me to leave, and I was happy to go.”

            “Why?”          

            “She has a new boyfriend.”

            “Where’s your dad?”

            “My parents were never married.”

            “Do you miss him?” he asked.

            “My father? I don’t even remember him.”

            “But still, you must miss him.”

            “What are you talking about?  How can I miss someone I never even knew?”

            “Well, the feeling of having a dad, then,” Toby explained.

            “Not hardly!” She gave him a nasty look before turning away.

 

9 comments:

  1. The dialogue seems really realistic, but maybe almost too realistic! You might consider deleting some of the phrases ("It's not important," "I want to know"), because they're all so short and seem a bit repetitive (even though that is probably how a real conversation would go). Toby's questions, in particular, seem more like a vehicle to get across information about Melissa than is really necessary. Perhaps he doesn't need to insert so many short phrases.

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  2. The dialogue seems really realistic, but maybe almost too realistic! You might consider deleting some of the phrases ("It's not important," "I want to know"), because they're all so short and seem a bit repetitive (even though that is probably how a real conversation would go). Toby's questions, in particular, seem more like a vehicle to get across information about Melissa than is really necessary. Perhaps he doesn't need to insert so many short phrases.

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  3. Nice job! The dialogue is realistic. I think you could delete the 'he said' after "Well?" because we know who's talking. The voices are distinct and I like that Toby keeps prodding to get more information.

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  4. 'With a huff' and 'smirked' took me out of the dialogue. Up until then I was with you. I think that the end part is a little cliche--you must miss him? How can I miss someone I never knew?...etc. Maybe you could find a way to get this same idea across with more unique language. Good job!

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  5. I think this was beautifully done and very clever.

    Now, when we get to "Still, you must miss him," I'm a little weirded out by Toby. He seems too nice or too interested.

    Because I'm now feeling something cute and fun is going in a strange direction, I need to see how Melissa is taking it, but I can't tell. She seems agitated when she responds, but a note about her expression or body language would cement that for me.

    The last line is the weakest for me. Is that the strongest retort imaginable? did Toby prick a nerve? Sometimes in uncomfortable spots like that, we lash out at others. Might she insult him instead?

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  6. I think this was beautifully done and very clever.

    Now, when we get to "Still, you must miss him," I'm a little weirded out by Toby. He seems too nice or too interested.

    Because I'm now feeling something cute and fun is going in a strange direction, I need to see how Melissa is taking it, but I can't tell. She seems agitated when she responds, but a note about her expression or body language would cement that for me.

    The last line is the weakest for me. Is that the strongest retort imaginable? did Toby prick a nerve? Sometimes in uncomfortable spots like that, we lash out at others. Might she insult him instead?

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  7. Nice dialog. Believable. Well paced. The "five times" makes me think he is a stalker/controller, but as I read on he seems nicer.

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  8. I do like the dialog. Their interchange says a lot about them. But I think the narration could improve.

    E.g. 'He’d asked her this question at least five times now, but she had refused to tell him.'

    could just be

    'He asked for the fifth time.'

    We know she hasn't answered him because he keeps asking

    'She ignored him by leaning her head back and closing her eyes.'

    could be

    'She snorted then leaned her head back and closed her eyes.'

    She know she's ignoring him too.

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  9. Great piece. This made me smile: “What is that irritating sound?” She looked around. “Oh, right, it’s you.”

    I agree with ikmar comment about 'He asked for the fifth time.'

    “But still, you must miss him.” And the next couple of lines felt odd. It would be more natural to ask if it was weird without a dad or did she fell like she was missing something without a dad, etc.

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