Thursday, September 22, 2016

Talkin' Heads #20

TITLE: Dust after Slaying
GENRE: Adult Urban Fantasy

Dee and her friend Hope are following a mysterious online map with their names on it. They actually fight vampires; werewolves are fictional in their universe.

 

Hope brought the smartphone closer to her face. It was finally lit enough to show she was frowning. “You really watch the werewolf stuff?”

“I guess there’s not as much on TV about werewolves as there is about vampires. But those novels in bookstores with threatening covers—eyes filled with contempt, strange tattoos, edged weapons.”

“And those are just the women.”

Dee laughed. “Doesn’t it bother you they portray werewolves and other such things as sexy nowadays?”

“Sex sells, sister.”

“Though it seems to me, if they describe a woman getting intimate with a guy who then has to turn into a werewolf to protect them, isn’t that like . . .”

“Bestiality? I’m not sure. Anyway, I look at those books for research purposes only.” Hope came to a dead stop. “This makes no sense. The path we’ve been following from this map keeps going straight. But you can see where the trail we’re walking on goes.” She gestured to the left, where the trail curved.

“Isn’t that just some tiny blip your map doesn’t show? Like how my GPS device shows the road ahead with geometrically straight lines, but in reality it’s crooked and full of potholes?”

“No, this trail we’re on doesn’t curve back to match the online path. You can see why.” She pointed to the steep hillside ahead of them. “Are we supposed to climb up and hike cross-country?”

 

4 comments:

  1. This is an interesting conversation, but I got lost in the middle and couldn't tell who was talking. One or two more dialogue tags or even action beats should clear that up.

    The other part where I got confused was this line near the end:

    “This makes no sense. The path we’ve been following from this map keeps going straight. But you can see where the trail we’re walking on goes.” She gestured to the left, where the trail curved.

    I had to read it a couple of times because I thought "the path we've been following" referred to the actual path on the ground. But if I understand correctly, it means the one on the map. I think you could clear it up just by cutting the words "we've been following" and changing it to read:

    "The path on the map keeps going straight, but the trail we're on goes that way." She pointed to the left.

    One other quick suggestion. I don't think you need the analogy about the GPS. It felt like overexplaining something that was already clear. (I struggle with this a lot in my own writing.)

    Good work on this dialogue and thanks for sharing.

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  2. Some of these sentences could be trimmed down. It has a formal sound which is probably not what you are going for.

    For example the "isn't that just some tiny blip" sentence could be "Glitchy Map?"

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  3. Your second paragraph needs some attention. "But those novels in bookstores with threatening covers—eyes filled with contempt, strange tattoos, edged weapons.” That's not a complete sentence or a complete thought. I can see what the speaker is implying, but without a tone of voice description or an action tag, it is a bit lost. I like how their dialogue forwards to plot, and it's not all back and forth, but still shows their personalities.

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  4. As a UF reader, you've hooked me with the vampires are real, werewolves are not scenario.

    I get that the werewolf chatter is mimicking how people talk about vampires in our world. But it was a little mundane, as in there was nothing new added. It didn't really push the plot or their characters from what I could tell (I see I might be alone there). I like it and think it needs to say, but it should also be condensed.

    This sentence "The path we’ve been following from this map keeps going straight" reads unnatural, and I see it tripped someone up too. I suggest- The map says we need to go straight….

    The last two paragraphs feel wordy, hand-feeding info to the reader, if that makes sense.
    Think- It's just a blip, like the GPS (trust that we know what you mean)
    No, 'cause it obviously just keeps going that way.

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