Thursday, September 22, 2016

Talkin' Heads #21

TITLE: The Keeper
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

After witnessing the cruel yet necessary beating of one of their captive visitors, Era confronts her parents, Nyx and Savin, about the use of such violence. In order to preserve the fragile core of their world and the one below, Savin uses the moment to remind his daughter about her previously learned lessons.

“There’s no need for such actions,” Era said.

“Era, he isn’t one of the puppies you’re so used to. He isn’t an heir from one of the other houses. He is a Brody, and a stubborn one at that. He has been brought to the truth, and his core is a little brighter. As should be your own,” I said patiently.

“Because he seeks the truth? You deny it to him and beat him instead. I’ve no idea how it serves the core.” At this Savin set down his bread and stared at her.

“Tell me the core, Era.” She laughed bitterly.

“I’m no child, Dad. I passed my lessons long ago.”

“To preserve the core means to reflect and revisit it constantly. To have the deepest experiences possible and to come to recognize those pieces in a different light based on our constantly changing experiences. So tell me the core.”

“Love. Truth. Loyalty. Innocence. Pain.” She said the last word with disdain.

“What is my path?” He was unbuttoning his shirt. I cringed, for I knew his intentions.

“Savin, don’t,” I whispered.

“Pain, but…” Era answered.

“Do you know how I learned it? How I was forced to see the full truth? Part of it was separation from those who truly mattered to me. From those I loved, and love still. That pain was tremendous, and it pushed me on. But much of it was like Jamie Brody in that moss-lined cell.”  

4 comments:

  1. Overall, this dialogue is clear, and it sets a good "fantasy tone".

    Be careful about placing beats where they don't belong. A beat should reflect the action of the person who just spoke, not another person.

    To wit:

    “Because he seeks the truth? You deny it to him and beat him instead. I’ve no idea how it serves the core.” At this Savin set down his bread and stared at her.

    “Tell me the core, Era.” She laughed bitterly.

    Savin's actions belong with HIS dialogue, and Era's actions belong with HERS.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had extreme difficulty telling who was saying what. I think it would go better if it was

    At this Savin set down his bread and stared at her. “Tell me the core, Era.”

    and

    She laughed bitterly. “I’m no child, Dad. I passed my lessons long ago.”

    Or maybe I still don't get it. You definitely show this is fantasy, and it does propel the story forward. The father (?) sounds formal at first, but I assume he is reciting something.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It took me a few beats to realize the mom was the POV character. Probably not an issue if I'd read before this. I would give the daughter more visual actions or clearer tone of voice as she reactions to her father's lecturing and removing his shirt. Sounds like an intriguing world!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had problems figuring out what was going on. It wasn't until I read Sylvia's comment that I realized the actions and dialog were from different people.

    I also didn't know who the 'I' was. The lead in made me think Era was going to the MC, so it was really confused at first. But I'm guessing it's Nyx, the mom. But that we'd probably know in context with everything else, so no bigger.

    ReplyDelete