Thursday, September 22, 2016

Talkin' Heads #18

TITLE: My Deal With Elvis
GENRE: MG Contemporary

I had to find a way to talk Elvis into looking for George Edwards’s plot. If my hunch was right the gold and money were there. It made perfect sense.

“I sure do hate how Charlotte and her brother go around acting like they’re better than everybody, don’t you?” I asked.


“What makes them think they can do whatever they want?” I asked.

Elvis shrugged.

I couldn’t read his face, so I said, “and kicking Luther out of the house he’s lived in his whole life.”

Still nothing.

“That’s why I agreed to help you win the talent show," I said. "Show Charlotte she’s not queen of Milledgeville.”

“Yup,” he said.

“And I will help, it’s just, it might be smart to have a plan B. I mean, in the unlikely event you don’t win.”

"What do you mean, unlikely event?” That got his attention. He stared a hole through me.

“It’s just if we were to make a monumental discovery—say, the last known outlaw’s hidden booty—we’d be somebodies. Right?”

Elvis narrowed his eyes.

“I wouldn’t be some convict’s kid who had to repeat the third grade and you wouldn’t be the weirdo kid who dresses like some dead singer.”

He sat on the bench beside me and reached around the back of his neck. He pulled up his shirt collar. “I like dressing like Elvis Presley.”


  1. You don't have a lead-in sentence, which makes it a little trickier to jump into the scene.

    Overall, your dialogue sounds natural and has a decent MG "feel" to it. Good work! There is something a tad monotonous about the approach to the dialogue, and I would worry that the rest of the dialogue in this book were the same.

    Good use of beats. You're also doing a good job showing us Elvis's personality through this exchange, which is GOLDEN. (Showing instead of telling!)

  2. Hi--nice job. A few suggestions though: take out the 2nd 'I asked' since we know who's speaking and it's a little redundant.

    I would put the sentence 'That got his attention.' before the dialogue in that paragraph. Also, maybe show how it got his attention. Did his eyes get big? His jaw drop? etc. (I like the part about staring a hole through you though!)

    My final suggestion would be to break up some of the main character's dialogue a bit. He/she seems to speak in long sentences which can get boring sometimes. Maybe add a few shorter lines with dialogue tags in between. These two definitely sound like interesting characters though. :-)

  3. Nice dialogue. I would take out the second "I asked". You don't need it. The voices are distinct. Elvis uses few words and the MC is verbose, although, as others have suggested, you might want to vary the MC's sentence lengths. Nice job.

  4. "I sure do hate" does not sound like contemporary MG -it has a Huck Finn quality to it.
    "Man, I hate how Charlotte..."
    Is is possible to shorten the MC dialog a bit? I think the nice complete sentences are not how kids talk.

    I was confused by "plot" at first. I think now it means his acreage...?

  5. I agree with cutting the second "I asked" and the "I sure do hate" bit sounding Huck. However, I like the MC's longer sentences. To me he's dragging them out on purpose to get something from Elvis. That could be heightened by adding action beats of the MC leaning in trying to pull out a response.

    I like it and like the last line. I could picture it perfectly.

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